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Beas tragedy: No sign of bodies yet

Beas tragedy: No sign of bodies yet
Highlights

Beas tragedy: No sign of bodies yet, Rescue agencies on Sunday continued their massive operation to search for the missing Hyderabad students and a tour operator by using a high-tech echo sounder device that scanned the Beas riverbed but failed to locate any bodies.

Mandi: Rescue agencies on Sunday continued their massive operation to search for the missing Hyderabad students and a tour operator by using a high-tech echo sounder device that scanned the Beas riverbed but failed to locate any bodies.

"We deployed side scan sonar to capture pictures of the riverbed to locate the bodies. It showed good images (of the riverbed) but no bodies were traced," Jaideep Singh, commanding officer of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), said.

Almost 10 km of the river stretch from the Pandoh dam to the upstream was scanned using the echo sounder. In the first four days of the operation, eight bodies were recovered. However, not a single body has been traced in the next three days.

"We can now go for the possibility to open the floodgates of the Pandoh dam so the water level in the reservoir is reduced drastically and the bodies, if trapped in boulders or stuck in the slit, come to the surface," Telangana Home Minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy, who is camping here, said.

He said some parents of the missing students have apprehensions the bodies might wash away further if the water is allowed to go downstream. "But any decision in this regard will be taken with the consent of the parents," he added.

Official sources said the parents were opposed to the decision to open the floodgates.

They said that the depth of the reservoir is between 30 and 50 feet. "We can easily trace the bodies if they are further washed away with the release of water from the dam, as the river stretch is narrow downwards," Deputy Commissioner Devesh Kumar, coordinating the search operation, said.

The water level in the three-km river stretch near the accident spot was lowered Saturday on for the first time but there was no major achievement in locating the missing students.

Over 550 rescue workers, comprising about 50 divers of the NDRF, the army, the navy and the ITBP, are involved in the search operation, focusing on the 15-km-long downstream stretch of the river from the Larji hydropower project dam to the Pandoh dam.

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