Beas tragedy: Bodies of four fished out
The possibility of the survival of remaining students in the swirling waters of Beas river was remote. State chief minister Virbhadra Singh visited Mandi on Monday and ordered a magisterial inquiry and suspension of the resident engineer of Larji hydropower project.
The tragedy struck when a group of 44 students en route to Manali on a pleasure trip in two Deluxe buses (UP-65- BT-4068 and UP-65-BT-5872) stopped on the way at Thalot to take pictures. They went down the river bank as it was dry at that point of time as water was being stored uphill in the dam to be released in the evening for increased power generation. Even as the students went sight seeing, water came gushing down as it was released from the dam increasing level by five to six feet. This gave little chance to the unfortunate group of students to return to the bank.
Since there was no warning board asking people to keep away from the river bank or giving schedule of the release of water into the channel from the dam, the students were caught totally off guard. Though the siren was blown, it made little sense to the unfortunate group. Local people blocked the NH-21 for a few hours and there was a 9-km long vehicle jam on both sides of the road soon after the incident.