Shimla: Ten persons were killed and over 50 others feared buried under the debris after a landslide trapped a bus and other vehicles in Himachal Pradesh's Kinnaur district on Wednesday, officials said.
State Disaster Management Director Sudesh Kumar Mokhta said at least 10 persons were pulled out of the rubble in an injured condition during the initial hours of the rescue operation and shifted to a nearby hospital.
Thirteen people had been rescued till late evening
The landslide occurred just before noon in Chaura village in Kinnaur, the officials said.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur told the state assembly that there are reports that 50-60 people are trapped under the debris, but the exact number was not known.
He said Union Home Minister Amit Shah has talked to him and the topmost priority as of now is to rescue those trapped under the debris and provide them the best possible treatment.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Thakur over the incident.
"PM @narendramodi spoke to Himachal Pradesh CM @jairamthakurbjp regarding the situation in the wake of the landslide in Kinnaur. PM assured all possible support in the ongoing rescue operations," the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said.
Union Home Minister Shah also spoke to Thakur to take stock of the situation arising due to the landslide
The home minister also directed the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) to provide all assistance to the Himachal Pradesh government in rescue and relief operations.
Thakur told the Assembly that a Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus and several other vehicles were buried under the debris.
He said the driver and the conductor were rescued with injuries and were not in a position to tell the exact number of the passengers who were on the bus.
The teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the local police reached the spot for carrying out the rescue operation, Thakur said.
He said an Army official also called him and extended help.
A helicopter is also being arranged for the rescue operation, the chief minister said.
He said the landslide occurred when there was no rainfall in the area at that time.
Earlier, Deputy Commissioner, Kinnaur, Abid Hussain Sadiq told PTI that several vehicles, including the HRTC bus carrying over 40 passengers, were buried under the debris.
The bus was on its way from Reckong Peo in Kinnaur to Shimla, he added.