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Sunday, August 23, 1998

Protima Bedi's body found

Sonu Jain  
DHARCHULA, Aug 22: The bodies of eight men and one woman were airlifted from Malpa today, the site of the landslide that claimed 40 lives early this week.Six injured were also brought to the health centre at Dharchula, where they were given immediate medical attention.

Five days after the tragedy, for the first time the sky cleared today, enabling 26 sorties to move from Dharchula to Malpa, the Kumaon Scout sources said.

Nine bodies are waiting to be heli-lifted at Malpa, but they are so badly decomposed that it is difficult to identify if they are male or female.

Meanwhile, agencies report from Bareilly that the Indo-Tibetan Border Police chief Gautam Kaul has confirmed that dancer Protima Bedi was dead. Her body had been recovered from Malpa village, he said. The body, he said, will be handed over to her relatives tomorrow.

PTI adds from Bareilly that rescue workers have recovered 40 bodies and choppers have ferried 60 relatives of Kailash-Mansarovar pilgrims to Pithoragarh.

In fact, yesterday'slandslide was so bad that eight bodies which were retrieved have been buried under fresh rubble and may have been even swept away into the river. Out of the nine bodies brought back, six have been identified and handed over to the relatives.

The entire machinery is working towards carrying out the operations. But this morning, there was a serious communication gap between the district authorities and the Kumaon Scouts as the helicopters were delayed for lack of medical teams to be sent to Malpa. However, the issue was resolved in the evening.

Copyright © 1998 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.

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