Manali: In a tragic incident a reporter of ANI news agency based at Kullu was buried today at Rahla Nallah fall point on Manali-Rohtang border road after a forceful avalanche hit the place, 29 Kms from here.
Mukesh Kumar, a machine operator of BRO, and Karan, the camera assistant of the ANI reporter, were hurt in the natural calamity that hit the road clearing operation being carried out in the area.
Mahavir Thakur, deputy director with Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali identified the body of Prem Kumar (28), the ANI reporter, whose body was dug out from the avalanche debris.
Prem Thakur, son of Sonu Ram, was a resident of village Gharakar, near Kullu on the left bank of River Beas.
According to eyewitnesses, the reporter and his camera assistant at about 3.30 PM were shooting the snow clearing operations being carried out by a JCB machine of BRO, when suddenly an avalanche gave way and hurtled all three of them down the hill and into the valley.
Personnel from Border Roadways Organisation immediately launched a rescue operation but found the reporter missing.
The machine operator Mukesh Kumar and camera assistant Karan were located in an injured condition about 500 meters downhill from where the road clearing operations were going on. The two were successfully rescued.
A team of experts from Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports Manali that was based at Marhi rescue post was also pressed into service to carry out the rescue operations.
Manali sub divisional magistrate Viney Dhiman said that the team of ANI had crossed the restricted area to take shots as the road was not fit for vehicular traffic.
Makar Dhwaj Sharma Secretary of Manali Taxi operators’ Union said that a Alto car with registration number of Kullu proceeded towards Gulaba area at about 3.00 PM.
The rescue and search operation for locating the buried reporter was hindered by heavy snowfall in the Rahla Nallah area after the avalanche had hit the place.
Photo: Sanjay Dutta