At least 11 people were swept away while bathing in Sultangarh waterfall in Madhya Pradesh's Shivpuri district on Wednesday after water level increased due to a sudden release of water from a dam, police said.
No bodies have been found yet and it could not be ascertained whether the missing persons have drowned, another police official said.
A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is involved in the rescue along with the state police. Shivpuri district Superintendent of Police (SP) Rajesh Hingankar said that over 40 others, who were trapped on rocks downstream after a sudden increase in water level, were also rescued. "We have rescued 40 people and five were rescued earlier by a helicopter. All these 45 people are safe now," Shivpuri district superintendent of police (SP) Rajesh Hingankar told ANI.
The helicopter, in its first sortie, rescued five persons who were stranded on a rock in the water downstream, while two more were saved by local people, the SP said.
The waterfall is near Mohana village, 55 kilometres from the district headquarters, in an area bordering Gwalior district. Tourists had thronged the place on Wednesday due to the Independence Day holiday. There was a sudden surge in water around 4.30 pm, possibly due to heavy rain upstream, catching those bathing in the waterfall unawares, police said quoting the locals.
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said in a tweet this evening that he was in constant touch with the officials engaged in the rescue operations.
शिवपुरी में वॉटरफाॅल में फंसे लोगों के बचाव के संबंध में केंद्रीय गृह मंत्री श्री @rajnathsingh जी और रक्षा मंत्री @nsitharaman जी से चर्चा हुई है और उन्होंने हरसंभव मदद की बात कही है। मैं लगातार मौके पर मौजूद बचाव टीम के संपर्क में हूं।
— ShivrajSingh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) August 15, 2018
Meanwhile Union home minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also assured the state government of the Centre's assistance.
Spoke to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shri @ChouhanShivraj regarding the situation in Shivpuri district. NDRF has already been pressed into service to save those who are stranded. The efforts are on to save everyone. I have assured him of all possible assistance from the Centre. — Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) August 15, 2018
Hon CM @ChouhanShivraj spoke about the situation in Shivpuri,Madhya Pradesh. Assured him on extending necessary assistance. Instructed @IAF_MCC to respond in time. Will monitor it from our end. @nstomar
— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) August 15, 2018
Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia congratulated the administration for acting swiftly and rescuing people. "I would like to congratulate the administration for acting swiftly and rescuing people," Scindia said.
Union minister and Gwalior MP Narendra Singh Tomar also reached the spot after hearing the news. He was seen camping at the spot and supervising rescue efforts, officials said late in the evening. Senior officials, including Gwalior range Inspector General of Police Anshuman S Yadav and Shivpuri collector Shilpa Gupta, were also at the site.
Congress sources said that its senior leader and Guna MP Jyotiraditya Scindia spoke to senior officials over phone about the rescue operations.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Aug 16, 2018 08:19:37 IST