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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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CIMA Gallary

Girl’s body found, search to continue for nine others

- Teesta death toll rises to seven

Kalimpong, Jan. 20: The body of a three-year-old girl was recovered from the Teesta at 29 Mile today even as nine others who went missing on Friday night after a jeep plunged into the river were yet to be traced.

With the recovery of Nalandi Chhetri’s body, the death toll has gone up to seven. Six bodies had been recovered till yesterday evening.

The search was conducted by the members and volunteers of the Teesta-Rangit River Rafting Owners’ Welfare Association. “We recovered the body from the 29 Mile area this afternoon. We have pressed two rafts and a kayak into service for the search,” said Sukbir Tamang, the president of the association.

Nalandi was the daughter of a Melli resident Ratna Bahadur Chhetri. “The body has been sent to the Kalimpong subdivisional hospital for post-mortem. The family of the girl will be given possession of the body later,” said a police source.

The rafting team said the search for the remaining nine persons would continue tomorrow as well. “Fourteen of us had been to the river since 10am and were there till 4.30pm, combing the stretch between Teesta Bazar and 27 Mile,” said Tamang.

Twenty-two people, who were packed into a Tata Spacio, were returning from a fair in Tribeni, which is the confluence of the Teesta and the Rangit, when the crash occurred. The vehicle fell about 100feet down the hill and plunged into the Teesta at a spot 2km from Teesta Bazar. The road leading to Tribeni from Teesta Bazar is very narrow.

Six persons were injured in the crash and are recuperating in hospitals in Kalimpong and Siliguri.