A bunch of students merrily taking photos on the banks of the Beas river in Himachal Pradesh, a hilly state with picturesque rivers spiraling across its landscapes, were horrifically swept away to their watery graves.
The ill-fated group of students of a Hyderabad-based engineering college was abruptly washed away in the swirling waters which suddenly rose several feet on Sunday evening. Of the 24 unfortunate students, bodies of just 5 have been recovered so far. Local authorities, with cooperation from the Indian army, are continually scouring the river path to recover the rest of the doomed souls, reported India Today.
84 personnel from India’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and 10 divers carried out an extensive search operation in the turbulent and frigid Beas River from the accident spot at Thalaut and Pandoh dam. The five bodies that have so far been recovered were found several kilometers from where the freak accident took place.
18 boys and 6 girls, all studying in the Hyderabad-based VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology, were apparently on an excursion trip to Manali, a famous tourist destination. Along the way, they decided to go down and walk the river bank to take pictures. The students were accompanied by faculty members, but apparently, no one thought of warning the students against stepping onto the huge rocks that rose from the river.
However, even more bizarre is the reason behind the kids drowning. The kids were swept away when river water suddenly rose several feet. The students, who had already gone quite far and were standing on the rocks, were simply unable to reach either of the banks and were swept away in mere minutes. Though locals and onlookers did raise an alarm, there wasn’t enough time for the students to scramble to safety, reported Daily Mail.
Preliminary investigations have revealed that the 24 students were caught unaware when millions of liters of water were suddenly discharged from Larji Hydro Power Project’s reservoir at around 6 pm on Sunday, leading to the bizarre tragedy. The Power Project works on the simple concept of using river water to revolve turbines. The water is usually stored at a height and released in huge quantities to achieve the momentum of the huge turbines. The Central Government has ordered an inquiry and even suspended the power-plant head.
Power generation from such hydro-power projects is still uncommon, but these projects do not burn fossil fuels, nor do they use nuclear power to generate electricity, and hence, are quite eco-friendly. Though the water is usually a life-giving force, in this case, it proved to be fatal.
[Image Credit Bing]