Video Producer: Maaz Hasan
Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
I can never forget 25 July 2021, the most terrifying day of my life. It was a usual Sunday morning for us. I am an accountant and work at a Hotel in Basteri, a small town in Himachal Pradesh.
Well, it was a regular day for us, but only till about 1pm. I was having lunch, when suddenly I heard a loud noise. The noise just did not stop. So, I left my lunch and stepped out to see where it was coming from.
I just couldn't believe what I saw! Big boulders were rolling down the mountain. While I was still trying to grasp what was happening, out of nowhere, I saw a minibus get crushed and roll down the mountainside.
Once the boulders stopped, I, along with my friend, rushed to the spot. The bridge was completely destroyed. It was difficult to get across and reach the minibus.
We waded through the water to reach the minibus. The water near the minibus was red. Unfortunately, nine tourists lost their lives and three were injured, including a local from Basteri Village, Kinnaur.
Soon, I got to know that the vehicle carrying tourists was returning from Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh, when a landslide occurred near the Chitkul-Sangla road. The minibus got hit by boulders and fell from the mountain top.
I along with my friend did everything we could to help the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) in the rescue operation.
As the bridge connecting Basteri Village to the main road has been destroyed, people in the village are facing difficulty in accessing essential supplies. Cattle are also stranded on the other side of the bridge and we are rescuing them as well.
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