Hundreds of military personnel were dispatched to the Indian Himalayas on Monday (February 8), in a bid to find at least 125 people who are missing after a part of a glacier broke away.
It’s reported as many as 170 people may be unaccounted for after water, rock and dust bundled down a mountain valley.
15 people have been rescued and 14 bodies have been recovered from various places so far, the state government of Uttarakhand, said on Twitter.
The violent surge of swept away a small hydro electric project called Rishiganga, and damaged a bigger one further downstream.
Most of the missing people were working on the two projects, which the government has been building deep in the mountains as part of a development push.
Rescue workers were working on a 2.5km long tunnel where people are believed to be trapped, reports Reuters news agency.
Vivek Pandey, a spokesman of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force, said 30 to 35 workers were believed to be inside the tunnel.
It’s believed rescuers were trying to open its mouth and get inside the tunnel.
There had been no voice contact yet with anyone inside, another official said.
On Sunday, 12 other workers were rescued from a different area.
Videos posted online showed water surging through a small dam site, washing away construction equipment and damaging small bridges.
“Everything was swept away, people, cattle and trees,” Sangram Singh Rawat, a former village council member of Raini, the site closest to the glacier, told local news.
Around 400 soldiers have been dispatched to the site in the remote mountains, state authorities said.
“We expect to carry on operations for the next 24 to 48 hours, ” said Satya Pradhan at the time, the chief of the National Disaster Response Force.