Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'What would you do?'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus: Liberia shuts most border points

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Netanyahu says Gaza operation will not end quickly

Read more

FOCUS

As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

Read more

#TECH 24

Internet of Things

Read more

  • Israeli strikes target symbols of Hamas power

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

  • Karzai’s cousin killed in Afghan suicide attack

    Read more

  • Libya oil tanker fire blazes out of control

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • France offers asylum to Iraqi Christians

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al-Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

  • Israel warns of ‘prolonged’ campaign in Gaza

    Read more

  • French mayor files complaint against US father who risked kids’ lives on Mont Blanc

    Read more

  • French footballer Griezmann headed to Atletico Madrid

    Read more

  • Luc Besson’s sci-fi thriller ‘Lucy’ tops US box office

    Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • France honours those lost on Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • Video: Ethiopia turns to wine to boost image, economy

    Read more

24 students washed away in north India river surge

AFP

Map of India locating the area where 24 students went missing after being washed downstream by a sudden river surge on SundayMap of India locating the area where 24 students went missing after being washed downstream by a sudden river surge on Sunday

Map of India locating the area where 24 students went missing after being washed downstream by a sudden river surge on SundayMap of India locating the area where 24 students went missing after being washed downstream by a sudden river surge on Sunday

Twenty-four students were missing late Sunday after being washed downstream by a sudden surge of river water in a remote Himalayan valley in northern India, a state minister said.

The students had stopped to take photographs on the edge of the Beas river in Himachal Pradesh when water released from a dam washed them downstream, transport minister G.S Bali said.

Rescue workers using torches in the dark were attempting to find the students in the picturesque Kullu Valley, some 200 kilometres (130 miles) north of the state capital Shimla, the minister said.

"Rescue teams are looking downstream for the missing in the dark," he said.

"They are 24 engineering students of the VNR college in Hyderabad," he said.

"The students had got off the bus to take photographs at the edge of the river at around 7:30pm when the sudden rise of water washed them away," he said.

The national government confirmed at least some of the students had drowned, with a rescue team sent to help search for survivors.

"I am deeply pained over the tragic incident of engineering students getting drowned in a flash flood in Himachal Pradesh," Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on his official Twitter account.

"I have instructed the authorities to despatch a rescue team for immediate action and save precious lives trapped in the floods," he said in a tweet.

A local official blamed the surge of water on a hydroelectric power plant further upstream.

"The water was released by the Larji power project dam," said senior state official Rakesh Kanwar said.

Angry locals and tourists blocked the main highway near the river in protest over the incident, saying authorities had failed to issue a warning about the release of water from the dam, according to local media.

The students, from the VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology in the southern city of Hyderabad, had been travelling to the resort town of Manali further north.

The stunning Kullu Valley is home to raging rivers, dense forests and steep gorges.

Himachal Pradesh and other Himalayan states including neighbouring Uttarakhand are home to a string of hydroelectric projects as India rushes to expand power generation to meet rising demand.

Governments are attempting to harness the power of rivers despite the risk of environmental damage to diversify away from costly and polluting coal and gas plants to meet the country's electricity shortage.

A government report in April concluded that hydropower projects in northern India were partly to blame for devastating floods last year that killed thousands.

Date created : 2014-06-09