India dam disaster toll rises to 67 as search for missing continues

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NEW DELHI, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Authorities in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand Sunday said the death toll in the dam disaster has risen to 67 and the search for missing people was underway.

"As of now, a total of 67 bodies and 28 human body parts have been retrieved from different places," reads a statement issued by police. "Out of these 37 bodies and one body part has been identified."

Police said DNA profiling of the unidentified bodies have been carried out.

According to police, missing reports of 204 persons have been filed so far at Joshimath police station.

"So far DNA samples of 96 relatives and 73 bodies have been sent for matching to forensic science laboratory (FSL) Dehradun," the statement said.

Meanwhile, the search operation in the area is underway.

On Feb. 7, a glacier is believed to have crashed into a dam in Uttarakhand, triggering a huge flood.

The floodwaters burst open a dam and a deluge of water hurtled down flooding the area in its course, damaging two hydropower projects and leading to numerous deaths, besides endangering hundreds of others.

Majority of the missing in the disaster are believed to be workers from two hydropower plants.

Immediately after the incident, rescuers rushed to carry out efforts on several sites, including a tunnel more than 200 metres long to save the trapped ones.

Apart from locals, authorities moved in disaster response force personnel, troops, paramilitaries and military helicopters to the state to help with rescue efforts. Enditem

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