Shimla: With the recovery of five more bodies, the death toll in the Kinnaur landslip incident rose to 15 on Thursday, Deputy Commissioner Kinnaur Abid Husain Sadik said here.
The wreckage of the HRTC bus, which was untraceable after being pushed down the road by heavy boulders, was found with a body inside. Four more bodies were recovered near the wreckage.
On Tuesday, the landslide and shooting stones hit Neugal Seri in Kinnaur district, about 130 km from here trapping several vehicles. One HRTC bus, two cars, one passenger vehicle (Tata Sumo), and a truck are still buried under the debris.
According to Bhawanagar SHO, around 25 to 30 more passengers may have been affected by the incident.
So far, he said, 26 victims, which included the dead, were recovered in a massive search operation that involved about 300 rescue personnel.
The rescue teams included NDRF, ITBP, State Police and Home guard, jawans. Another company of NDRF Nurpur was also requisitioned for the spot last night.
Thirteen persons were rescued safely and hospitalized in Civil Health Center Bhawanagar for further medical treatment, the District Commissioner said.
So far, he said, 15 bodies have been recovered from the incident site and the number is likely to increase as some passengers of the HRTC bus and Bolero Camper are still feared missing.
Following the mishap since 1200 yesterday, the Hindustan Tibet National Highway number 5 had been blocked for traffic. Though the debris has been cleared for vehicular activities, the traffic movement is yet to be restored.
A Bolero and its passengers are still untraceable. It appears that the vehicle has rolled down with the debris, the DC said.
A team containing ten rescue members has been sent towards the bank of Satluj River to assist in the recovery.