At least nine tourists, belonging to Delhi-NCR, were killed and three others suffered serious injuries in a landslide in Himachal Pradesh's Kinnaur district on Sunday. On their way from Sangla to Chitkul, a popular tourist spot some 250 km from the state capital, the tourists were struck by heavy boulders, killing nine on the spot.
In a video, boulders could be seen rolling downhill, causing the Batseri bridge to collapse, following which the vehicles stationed below it also suffered massive damage.
Superintendent of Police Saju Ram Rana said that the rescue operation is on and the road has been closed for traffic. About 50 people were said to be stranded on the road stretch.
Expressing grief, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from PMNRF to the families of those who died in the accident.
"An ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of those who lost their lives in an accident in Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh. Rs. 50,000 would be given to the injured," Modi wrote on Twitter.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur inquired about the incident, and informed that immediate relief is being provided.
"I spoke to the Kinnaur district administration and inquired about the accident. The administration has started rescue operation at the spot and immediate relief is being provided there. I pray to God for speedy recovery of the injured," Thakur said.
Thakur also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to kin of those who lost their lives in the accident. Treatment of the injured will be taken care of by the govt, he said.
On Saturday, Himachal Pradesh DGP Sanjay Kundu had raised an alarm, urging people not to venture too close to water bodies.
"Don’t venture too close to water bodies, especially in monsoons. HP is blessed with natural beauty, which attracts people to rivers, rivulets, lakes and ponds. Be reminded that 156 persons lost their lives due to drowning in the 13 month period between 01.01.2020 to 31.01.2021," he said in a tweet.