Rescue teams scour Himalayas after glacial burst

Rescue operations were underway in the Indian Himalayas on Monday (February 8) to locate about 170 people missing and feared dead.

That's after a glacier broke away from the mountains on Sunday (February 7), destroying a dam, and triggering flash floods in the process.

Officials say at least a dozen bodies have already been recovered.

Most of the missing were workers from two hydroelectric projects downstream that had been either damaged or swept away.

Twelve were freed from a tunnel on Sunday.

But in a different tunnel, dozens more are believed to be trapped.

One local villager was separated from his brother after the disaster.

"My brother was here. He used to work here and now I am hearing that he is trapped inside. We have no information about him. There were six people from our village over here."

State authorities say hundreds of personnel have been deployed at the site to assist.

Aparna Kumar is with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police.

"A lot of debris had entered the tunnel so there is complete blockade. Two excavators are going inside to clear it. There is an outlet tunnel where 30 to 40 workers were trapped since yesterday so we are trying to rescue them."

The projects damaged are some of many commissioned by the government in that state to develop the area.

But the state is prone to flash floods and landslides.

The disaster adds to long-standing criticisms of projects built in the ecologically-sensitive mountains.