Share

Four Indian Students Dead After Dam Release Swept Them Away; Dozens Still Missing

June 10, 2014

A sightseeing trip in a mountainous resort town in northern India turned tragic on Sunday after dozens of students were swept away by surging waters from a dam release while snapping pictures on a riverbank. Four bodies were recovered Monday morning, but 21 others are still missing with police calling the chances for survival "slim."

A group of 48 engineering students from the southern Indian city of Hyderabad were visiting the resort town of Manali, about 330 miles north of New Delhi. The engineering students were taking photos along the bank of the Beas River when a sudden discharge of water from a dam upstream caught them by surprise, according to the Associated Press. At least 24 students were washed away from the surge of water.

AP Photo

Bonath Shekar Naik shows a portrait of his son Rambabu, one of the students feared dead during a field trip near the mountain resort town of Manali. (AP Photo/ Mahesh Kumar A.)

Kiran Kumar, a professor accompanying the students, said he saw the water level rising and tried to tell the students to step back from the bank, but "within one or two seconds, the water level increased all of a sudden. Some of the students were washed away right in front of me," he told the Associated Press.

(MORE: Cost of Natural Disasters on the Rise)

One student said that he saw a "wall of water" swallow the students alongside the river and that they "disappeared under the waves."

The Indian Express reports that authorities released water from an upstream reservoir without any warning. The incident prompted fury from locals, who blocked the national highway in protest. Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh demanded the dam's engineer be suspended while the incident is investigated.

Search efforts were ongoing Monday, but a shortage of boats and divers was hampering those operations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

MORE: World's Most Polluted Rivers - Ganges, India

Polluted waste water flows into the Ganges river in Kanpur, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. (DIPTENDU DUTTA/AFP/Getty Images)


Featured Blogs

Vance Forms in the Eastern Pacific; the Atlantic Goes Quiet

By Dr. Jeff Masters
October 31, 2014

Tropical Storm Vance formed in the Eastern Pacific on Thursday afternoon. The storm's heaviest rains will remain well offshore from Mexico through Sunday, but Vance is expected to make landfall in Mainland Mexico northwest of Puerto Vallarta on Tuesday night. Vance's moisture will likely bring heavy rain to Texas on Wednesday.

September 2014 Global Weather Extremes Summary

By Christopher C. Burt
October 22, 2014

September was globally the warmest such on record according to NASA and NOAA. Deadly flooding affected the Kashmir region of India and Pakistan as well as in southern France, China, and Serbia. Record heat occurred in Jakarta, Indonesia and south-central Canada. It was the driest September on record for the U.K.

Live Blog: Tracking Hurricane Arthur as it Approaches North Carolina Coast

By Shaun Tanner
July 3, 2014

This is a live blog set up to provide the latest coverage on Hurricane Arthur as it threatens the North Carolina Coast. Check back often to see what the latest is with Arthur. The most recent updates are at the top.

Tropical Terminology

By Stu Ostro
June 30, 2014

Here is some basic, fundamental terminology related to tropical cyclones. Rather than a comprehensive and/or technical glossary, this represents the essence of the meaning & importance of some key, frequently used terms.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.