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Kullu bus accident: Naval team to carry out underwater search

Around 35 passengers are still unaccounted for. Silt and mud in the river has reduced visibility.

By: Express News Service | Shimla | Published: August 1, 2015 4:32:18 am

A six-member advanced team of the Indian Navy reached Kullu on Friday to undertake a major underwater search for the bodies of bus accident victims.

A bus carrying over 65 passengers had washed away into the Parvati river on July 23 near Bhuntar. Search and rescue operations for survivors and bodies of the missing have been hampered by inclement weather.

Around 35 passengers are still unaccounted for. Silt and mud in the river has reduced visibility.

Rakesh Kanwar, deputy commissioner of Kullu district, told The Indian Express over phone that the naval team will use high-tech underwater search equipment called side-scan sonars, which is normally used for marine operations .

“Six members of the team have reached Kullu and equal number of divers are likely to join on Saturday morning.

The operation will start at 8am. They will first search the accident site near Bhuntar and then the Larji project dam. They have already surveyed the area,” he said.
The technology was earlier used for search and rescue operation in June 2014 when over 20 students from an engineering college in Hyderabad were washed away into the Beas river. However, the instrument was reported to be only partly successful in locating the bodies.

Side-scan sonar uses sound waves to find and identify objects in the water. It transmits sound energy and analyses the return signal (echo) that bounces back from the other objects under the water.

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