Shimla, Aug 17: Rescuers on Thursday retrieved a body when it resumed search operations on the fourth day in the Himachal Pradesh capital where a massive landslide washed away a Hindu temple. With this, the death toll rose to 14.
The body was of a professor of Himachal Pradesh University here, an official told IANS. It was retrieved two km away from the disaster spot.
The authorities are suspecting that at least seven people might be trapped in the mud pile.
The officials said all, except one body, were identified and handed over to their family members.
Relatives of people have approached the local authorities to know about their whereabouts.
“So far we have received information about seven missing people and we are on the job to locate them,” a rescuer said.
He said the dead included seven of a family, comprising three children, who were inside the Shiv Bawadi temple in Summer Hill when the disaster occurred.
Pawan Sharma, 60, who owns a shop in the Summer Hill market, his wife Santosh Sharma, 57, son Aman Sharma, 32, daughter-in-law Archana Sharma, 27, and three granddaughters aged between 12 and 1.5 years were at the temple for a havan when it collapsed.
While bodies of four of the family members have been found, three are still missing with rescuers say chances of their survival look bleak.
Chief Minister Sukhvinder Sukhu, who visited the spot immediately after the disaster, described it “an unprecedented tragedy”. He said the state is battling the worst natural calamity in 50 years.
On the same day, Shimla witnessed another landslide in Fagli where five people were killed. A day later at least five houses collapsed in the Krishna Nagar area close to the Old Bus Stand in Shimla in which two people were killed. (IANS)