Mandi, June 12, 2014: Rescue workers have found the eighth body in Mandi from the Beas river, in which 24 engineering students and a tour operator had been swept away in a sudden rise in water level.
The body was badly trapped between rocks and rescue teams had a difficult time retrieving it from the river.
The deceased was identified as T Upendra by his parents, said RS Negi, the Mandi SP.
The melting of snow in the higher hills has meant that the discharge of water in the Beas has increased and more than 550 rescue workers from various agencies are engaged in the massive search operations under the supervision of the National Disaster Response Force.
National Disaster Management Authority vice chairman M Shashidhar Reddy, who has reached the accident site to oversee rescue operations, confirmed that one body was recovered today.
He said that all assistance would be provided for the search operation and more equipment and men would if needed be involved.
Telangana Home Minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy has been camping in Mandi for the past three days along with the parents and kin of the missing students as the rescue operations continue.
On Wednesday, a video which shows 24 students of a Hyderabad engineering college being washed away in River Beas in Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi district on Sunday had gone viral on the internet.
The video showed a group of students standing on a rock in the middle of a calm river being washed away by sudden and drastic surge in the water level of the river. The video shows how the sudden rise in the river water gave no chance to the students to escape.
Students are heard screaming for help in the video. This video also refutes the claims made by the authorities that sirens were sounded before releasing the water.
About 60 students and faculty members of the VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology in Hyderabad were on an excursion to Manali when 25 of them were washed away in flash floods following sudden release of water from reservoir of Larji hydropower project near Thalot on Sunday evening.
The sightseeing trip to Himachal Pradesh turned tragic for the Hyderabad students who were taking photographs on the bank of the river when gushing waters of the Beas swept them away after water was suddenly released from the reservoir of 126 MW Larji hydropower project.
The students were thrown into the middle of the river. While some managed to reach the bank, others were swept away. Some students were drowned while trying to save others, police said.
Andhra Pradesh government on Tuesday announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the 24 students who were washed away. Announcing the ex-gratia, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said that this would be in addition to Rs 1.5 lakh announced by the Himachal Pradesh government.