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No trace of 17 missing persons as rains pose hurdles in Beas tragedy

Rescuers failed to recover the body of any of the 17 missing persons, swept away in the Beas river on June 8, on the 10th day of search on Tuesday with pre-monsoon rains posing hurdles before them.

The rescue operations resumed at the dawn, and despite using modern equipment like lidar remote sensing technology and side-scan sonar in the intensive search in the five-km stretch of Beas, no body could be traced, commanding officer of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Jaideep Singh said.

The rescue operations were hampered due to heavy rains in catchment areas of the Beas river yesterday, and with pre-monsoon showers lashing the region and monsoons not far away, the rescue teams have a daunting task ahead.

“The rains would bring more silt and discharge of water would be optimal during the monsoons and we are making all possible efforts to recover the bodies as early as possible,” Singh added.

As many as 600 personnel of NDRF, Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Himachal Pradesh Police, and 50 expert divers continued their search.

Twenty-four engineering students of VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of?Engineering and Technology, Hyderabad, and a co-tour leader were washed away in the river on June 8 when Larji hydropower project authorities suddenly released water from the barrage.

So far eight bodies have been recovered.

The Himachal Pradesh High Court had also taken suo motu notice of the tragedy and directed the government to file a status report by June 16, and when the matter came up for hearing yesterday the division bench trashed the report and asked the government to file a fresh report by June 19.

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