Himachal Pradesh landslide Other States

Himachal Pradesh landslide | It all happened in a split second, survivors say

On a precipice: People and rescue workers at the site of a major landslip at Nigulsari in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday, August 11.   | Photo Credit: V.V. Krishnan

His clothes mud-stained and a slight bruise on his leg, 28-year-old Prashant is in a state of shock and disbelief after he and one of his friends, Varun, narrowly escaped being buried under the debris triggered by a major landslide near Nigulsari in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday.

It’s around 3.30 p.m. The landslide took place close to noon. Sitting by the side of the road, both men say that they have been praying for the well-being of their missing friend and co-traveller. Boulders and loose soil fell upon the car in which the three were travelling.

 

“All three of us were on our way home in Una district after a holiday in Sangla. As soon as we reached here, we stopped the car as some stones were falling. A bus and utility vehicle was in front of us while a truck was coming from the other side. We stepped out of the car to assess the situation. As we were watching, suddenly, rocks and a huge chunk of mud started to fall. It was a matter of a split second. Varun and I ran to one side, our friend Balram ran towards the other side of the vehicle,” Mr. Prashant told The Hindu.

“While both of us are safe, we are trying to talk to Balram. His phone is ringing but he’s not picking it up. We are just praying that he is alright,” he added.

Visibly jolted, Mr. Varun was short of words about the incident. “I can’t talk right now as I am not in any state of mind beyond [thinking about] my friend,” he said.

Vehicles buried under the debris after a landslide on the Reckong Peo-Shimla Highway in Kinnaur district, on Wednesday, Aug 11, 2021.

Vehicles buried under the debris after a landslide on the Reckong Peo-Shimla Highway in Kinnaur district, on Wednesday, Aug 11, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

As the Army, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) reached the incident site for rescue operations, hundreds of people gathered at the spot, many of them relatives and friends of people trapped under the debris.

Someone was seen informing the police and rescue team members that he had received a call from a trapped friend crying for help. Several others passed on similar information.

“A friend of mine had called me saying he is under the mud. I came here to tell you [the police] about it. Please save him,” one person was seen telling members of the rescue team at the incident site.

In the last couple of days, several incidents of landslides have been reported across the State, especially the tribal districts, including Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur, as incessant rains have lashed the region.


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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 5:59:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/landslide-at-himachal-pardeshs-kinnaur-district-it-all-happened-in-a-split-second-survivors-say/article35864839.ece

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