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Himachal Pradesh landslide: Six killed, rescue operations underway

Himachal Pradesh landslide: Six killed, rescue operations underway

At least 50 people are feared dead after two Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) buses washed away in a massive landslide in Kotroopi area of Mandi district on Thursday.

One of the buses was carrying 47 passengers from Chamba to Mandi while the second bus, was carrying about 8-10 passengers from Katra to Manali when the accident occurred.

The injured were rushed to a nearby hospital for medical treatment. Eight bodies have been recovered, including the driver and the conductor of Chamba depot Chanden Sharma and Satpal, respectively.

Local TV channels reported that the two buses were stationed at a roadside eatery located on the highway for refreshments when the disaster occurred.

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Himachal Transport minister GS Bali said the toll could climb to 50 in the incident which took place last night.

A stretch of the National Highway 21, that passes through Mandi, has been closed fearing more landslides. Teams from the Army and the National Disaster Response Force have been called in and have been working on rescuing those still trapped since 2 am on Sunday, he said.

The incident happened around 12.35 am. People present on the spot said the rescue operation was affected by rains.

Deputy commissioner of Mandi, Sandeep Kadam told ANI: "Three vehicles were stranded after the landslide".