A TEAM of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Thursday joined the search operations for four missing Punjab youths and their guide at Loti village, near Sunni in Shimla district. Senior government officials claimed that the NDRF team, too, may find the going tough as it mainly involves digging of huge debris and heavy boulders.
Deputy Commissioner Rohan Chand Thakur claimed that a large number of locals, police personnel, home guards and fire brigade men were also deployed at the site – where the trail of destruction left by the flash flood following the cloudburst in the area two days back is evident.
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“An NDRF team has reached the site and they were briefed by the district teams, including the Additional District Magistrate and SDM, who were also camping there,” he said .
Four youths — who hailed from Nawanshahr district — and a local guide were washed away in the flash flood, while three others who were also part of the group, had a lucky escape .A Scorpio while in which they were travelling also got washed away and its wreckage was found Wednesday.
Villagers said the water had come as a huge wall (over 25 ft high) carrying mud, stone and boulders in the Loti nullah, which joins the Sutlej river. This happened after the cloudburst .The debris deposited at the the site of itself show the extent of the tragedy.
“The youths perhaps had no idea of the risks involved. They were on a leisure trip. Once the water had risen in the Loti nullah, escape was difficult as everything happened within a few minutes,” said Megha Ram ,a resident of the area.
The search operation now this will mainly be a tough job to clear more than 10-15 ft of the debris and stones, which also include big boulders. Thus, the NDRF was reluctant to join the operation .
Superintendent of Police D W Negi said “The search operation so far has been disappointing. It looks like a tall order. Even the NDRF may not be able to make much headway.”