2014 Beas River Tragedy

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2014 Beas River Tragedy
Time 18:30 IST
Date 8 June 2014
Location Beas River, Mandi district, Himachal Pradesh, India
Casualties
24 dead
1 Missing

2014 Beas River disaster refers to drowning of 6 female, 18 male 2nd year engineering students and one tour operator from V.N.R. Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology of Hyderabad involved in a fatal accident on 8 June 2014 at the Beas River in Himachal Pradesh. The accident took place in Thalout area (Shalanala Village) of Mandi district, due to sudden surge of river water released upstream from Larji hydro electric project.[1][2][3][4]

Incident[edit]

48 students[3] and 3 faculty/staff members of V.N.R. Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology (Hyderabad) were on an Educational/Industrial Tour, passing from Shimla to Manali, about 200 kilometres (130 miles) from Himachal Pradesh capital Shimla.[5] Some of them were getting themselves photographed on the banks of the Beas river on the Mandi-Manali National Highway NH-21, when they were washed away as the water flow in the river suddenly increased. The surge of water occurred when The Larji hydroelectric power project opened its floodgates, sending tonnes of water downstream.

A video surfaced on the internet two days later showed how the victims were caught unawares when a strong river carried them away. This video was taken by one Mr. Bihari Lal, who was present about 100 metres above the river bed atop a hilly area where a wedding was being held. The video was uploaded to YouTube.[6]

Rescue[edit]

Authorities deployed over 550 rescue team members including divers from NDRF, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), and Indo-Tibetan Border Police ITBP, Indian Army, Indian Navy, the Paramilitary, the local firemen and policemen, and a private team of swimmers and divers trained by the Additional DGP of Police (Sports) in Telangana, Mr. Rajeev Trivedi. UAV, multi-beam sonar, and lidar were also deployed to trace missing students along the 15 km stretch from Larji Dam to Pandoh Dam.[7] Beginning 16 June, the parents of the students who were camping in Himachal Pradesh started leaving for their native places.[4][8]

As of 20 July 2014, 23 bodies have been recovered while tour operator and Sree Harsha are still missing.[9]

Bodies of all 24 students recovered but co-tour guide Pralahad is missing. [10]

Government response[edit]

Probe[edit]

A case has been registered against officials of the Larji Hydroelectric Project for causing the death of 24 engineering students by negligence. The case was registered after eyewitnesses claimed that the hooter was not sounded before increasing water flow into the river.[6]

Initial probe suggested that Larji power project was asked to reduce generation on the day of the tragedy but plant officials shut it down. As a result of this, the water that had built up in its reservoir had to be released, leading to the sudden surge in the Beas river.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "24 students from Hyderabad feared drowned in Beas river in Himachal, 5 bodies recovered". The Times of India. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  2. ^ "Beas river tragedy: 7 key points". The Times of India. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  3. ^ a b "Vignana Jyothi students washed away in HP". Deccan-journal.com. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  4. ^ a b Beas tragedy: Another student's body recovered : India, News - India Today
  5. ^ "Beas river tragedy: HC calls its 'grave negligence', seeks status report; search continues". Hindustan Times. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  6. ^ a b "Video of Beas River Tragedy goes Viral on Internet". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "Vyas River tragedy: Water level lowered, but no bodies found". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  8. ^ "Parents asked to return back". Deccan-Journal. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "2 more bodies of Beas tragedy recovered". Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "Beas river tragedy: bodies of all 24 students recovered". Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "How Corruption and Mismanagement caused Beas River Tragedy?". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 21 June 2014.