Friday, August 8, 2003, Chandigarh, India





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23 die in Manali cloudburst

Manali, August 8
Twenty-three labourers, including women and children, were killed and 17 others injured following a cloudburst last night at Kangni Nullah near Dhundi village, about one and half km from the Rohtang Pass, the gateway to the tribal district of Lahaul and Spiti.

Kulu Superintendent of Police Shivinder Thakur, who was at the spot supervising rescue operations, told UNI here today that so far 23 bodies had been recovered by rescue parties and another 17, who were injured, were also pulled out of the nullah, a tributary of the Beas river. He said 16 persons were still missing and the death toll could go up to 40.

Mr Thakur said all the victims, the injured and missing, were labourers from Bihar and Nepal who had been engaged by the Border Road Organisation (BRO) for construction of the road leading up to the proposed tunnel that is to be built through the Rohtang Pass to connect this hill resort to Lahaul and Spiti. The incident occurred about a km and a half from the Southern portal of the Rohtang Pass, he added.  UNI
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