India Searching For College Students Washed Away In River

The 24 engineering students were on a sightseeing trip when they got off their bus to take photos near a river.

India Searching For College Students Washed Away In River
The Times of India

More than 20 college students in India swept away by a river Sunday are feared dead.

The group of engineering students — 18 men and six women — were traveling by bus on a 10-day sightseeing trip to the tourist town of Manali. (Via The Times of India

According to The Times of India, here's what police say happened: "The students ... decided to get down and walk to the river bank to take pictures with the Beas [River] in the background. Just when they reached the banks, a sudden, huge gush of water washed them away."

Some students managed to safely run away. One of the survivors told The Indian Express: "We saw a wall of water hit those who were on the banks. They fell flat and disappeared under the waves.

What was a rescue operation is now considered a recovery effort. Search teams Monday pulled five bodies from the river. (Via Sky News

It's believed the sudden surge of water came from a power plant further upstream. Local authorities have ordered an investigation to determine if that dam opened its floodgates without warning.

According to Time, the chief minister of the state where the tragedy took place has ordered the engineer in charge of the dam be suspended.

A recently released government report found hydropower projects in northern India were partially to blame for triggering the floods and landslides that killed thousands in India last year. (Via CNN