Death toll from India’s glacier tragedy rises to 14, over 200 missing

The death toll in Sunday’s glacier burst in north India has risen to 14, even as the number of missing persons swelled to over 200, confirmed official sources on Monday.

The natural disaster hit the country’s northern hilly state of Uttarakhand on Sunday morning, severely damaging two hydro power projects.

Among the missing persons are 11 local villagers and around 190 workers employed at two power projects.

“Most of the missing persons are said to be labourers hailing from the eastern state of Bihar and northern state of Uttar Pradesh,” the India Today media group quoted Uttarakhand Director General of Police (DGP) Ashok Kumar as saying.

According to Kumar, the rescue work is focussed on a 1,800-meter long tunnel where around 35 to 40 people, mostly power project labourers, are feared trapped. The tunnel is said to be filled with several feet high slush and debris.

Meanwhile, according to sources at the local disaster management office, 13 villages have been cut off due to the natural disaster, and efforts are being made to reach out to them with food and medical aid.