HP floods: 11 passengers of Punjab Roadways bus still missing; 3 bodies recovered in Shimla district

The bodies of three people who were swept away along with their roadside eatery in a flash flood were recovered from the Pabbar river in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday, police said.

They said, however, 11 passengers of a Punjab state transport corporation bus, which was swept away in Manali on July 10, were yet to be traced.

The wreckage of the Pepsu Roadways Transport Corporation (PRTC) bus was found 300 metre down from the green tax barrier of the Allo (potato) ground in the middle of the Beas river in Manali on Saturday and a search is on for the 11 passengers.

"We have got a list of 11 missing persons, all hailing from Uttar Pradesh, who were suspected to be in the bus when it was swept away and a search is on to find the missing persons," Kullu Superintendent of Police Sakshi Verma told PTI.

The bus could not be taken out due to heavy current in the river. The officers of PRTC had identified the bus which started its journey from Sector 34 in Chandigarh to Manali on July 9 and was swept away in floods on July 10 near Manali.

Several videos of the bus, trucks and light vehicles inundated in Beas river, floods washing away houses, business establishments and parking lots on the banks went viral following floods in Kullu and Mandi districts.

On the recovery of three bodies, the police said the trio - an elderly couple and their grandson—were swept away along with their dhaba in a flash flood in Laila rivulet at a village in Rohru in Shimla district on Saturday.

They bodies have been recovered by the police, Shimla Superintendent of Police Sanjeev Kumar Gandhi told PTI.

Roshan Lal and his wife Bhaga Devi used to run a dhaba in the village and their grandson Kartik had paid them a visit when the tragedy struck, the officials said.

So far, 25 persons have died, 26 sustained injuries and four are still missing in Shimla district and about 88 houses, 47 vehicles and eight animal sheds have been damaged in the current monsoon season, Gandhi said.

More than 150 people have been rescued by various teams of police, administration and others in 44 rescue operations, he said.

The local Met office on Sunday issued orange warning of heavy to very heavy rains at isolated places on July 25 and 26 and yellow warning of heavy rains on July 24 and 27.

Light to moderate rain lashed parts of Himachal Pradesh. Nahan received 46 mm of rain, followed by Jatton Barrage (Sirmaur) 45 mm, Bharmour 35 mm, Solan 34 mm and Guler 32 mm.

As many as 158 people have died in rain-related incidents such as landslides, flash floods and cloud burst besides road accidents during the ongoing monsoon season since June 24 till date, according to the state emergency response system.

The state has suffered losses to the tune of Rs 5,115 crore.

Nearly 700 roads are closed for vehicular traffic in the state.

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