3 bodies recovered from Pandoh dam, CM orders probe

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Shimla: Rescue workers Monday morning recovered three bodies from Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi district while the fate of 24 others washed away in the flooded Beas river is still not known.

The three were identified as Akula Vijeta, Banoth Rambabu and Gampala Ishwarya.

The missing include 24 students, one faculty member and a tour manager. Search operations for the missing people is currently underway.

At least 24 students, including six girls, of the V.N.R. Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology in Hyderabad were reported missing after strong currents in the mighty Beas river washed them away.

More than 60 students and faculty members were on an excursion to the picturesque tourist resort of Manali.

Some of them were getting themselves photographed on the banks of the river in Thalaut area near the Hanogi Mata temple when they were reportedly washed away as the flow in the river suddenly increased.

The river was suddenly in spate with the release of water from a nearby hydropower project.

One of the bodies was recovered from Pandoh dam, some 20 km downstream, whose floodgates were closed after the accident.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has ordered a probe and ordered the suspension of erring resident engineer of the 126 MW Larji hydropower project being run by the state electricity board. A case of negligence has been registered.

The chief minister discussed the ongoing rescue operation with Chief Secretary P. Mitra and Director General of Police Sanjay Kumar.

The chief minister also directed the Power Minister Sujan Singh Pathania to visit the spot to oversee the rescue operation.

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