Six missing after car falls into Himachal river

Shimla: Six members of a family were reported missing after their car skidded off the road and fell into the swollen Beas river in Himachal Pradesh's Mandi district, police said on Monday. "Search operation is on to locate the six missing persons but their chances of survival are less as the river is in spate. One body has been recovered," a police official said. He said eight people, including four women, were travelling in a car when it had a head-on collision with a truck near Aut on the National Highway-21, some 175 km from the state capital on Sunday night. He said after the collision, the car rolled down the hill and fell into the river. The victims were returning to Pandoh near Mandi town from Manikaran, known for its popular Sikh shrine, in Kullu district. The only survivor was admitted to a hospital in Mandi town with injuries. "Divers are basically facing problem of poor visibility. The river bed is full of mud and silt. There are also big boulders and rocks. Moreover, the flow in the river is abnormal," tehsildar Hera Singh, who is supervising the rescue operation.. He said the bodies and even the vehicle might have been either trapped in the rocks or buried in the riverbed silt near the accident spot. Meanwhile, family members of the victims, who were camping at the accident spot, blocked the national highway for a few hours, demanding that the search operation be speeded up.