Two killed in Manali cloudburst, five missing (Lead)

July 21st, 2011 - 4:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi Manali, July 21 (IANS) Two labourers were killed and 22 were injured after a cloudburst near this Himachal Pradesh town, an official said here Thursday. Five labourers are still missing.

“Two bodies have been recovered, while one labourer was found in the debris of the mudslide. He has been admitted to hospital,” Sub-divisional Magistrate Balbir Thakur told IANS.

The cloudburst occurred around 12.30 a.m. Wednesday in upper Manali, about 18 km from here.

The workers were involved in construction of the Rohtang tunnel. The accident happened just after they returned from work to their base camps in Dhundi.

“More than 100 labourers were present in the hutments when the cloudburst occurred. They managed to run to a safer place after they heard the loud noise,” he added.

Rescue work is being carried out by the Manali-based Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and local police.

The foundation stone of the 8.80-km-long horseshoe shaped Rohtang tunnel, beneath the majestic Rohtang Pass, that will link this town with Keylong, district headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti, was laid by Congress president Sonia Gandhi June 28, 2010.

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