Search continues for missing students after Larji Dam discharge

Rescue work continues along the Beas River in India’s Himachal Pradesh after a sudden discharge from the 126-MW Larji hydropower plant washed away up to 25 people Sunday evening.

According to Indian news sources, about 60 students from the V.N.R. Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology were examining the area beneath the dam during a field trip when the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board decided to release high water from Larji’s reservoir. Reports are confliction, though Kullu District deputy commissioner Rakesh Kanwar told The New Indian Express that alarms were sounded before waters were released.

The bodies of five students have been recovered so far, with India’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) now focusing its search on areas around the downstream Thalaut and Pandoh dams.

NDRF commanding officer Jaideep Singh said the organization’s efforts now include close to 100 divers and boatmen, with searchers from the Indian army expected to join this week.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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