Parents of the students who undertook the ill-fated Himachal tour are going through harrowing times.
Every media report, every ring of the phone, every message they receive, brings untold trepidation and fear. There are heights of hope and the abyss of despair as they await the fate of their children.
What could have been a memorable tour in normal times, has now become an unforgettable living nightmare for the bereaved parents.
On Sunday, about 50 students from VNR college of engineering were travelling to Manali when they halted near a dam at Kullu valley to take pictures. Unfortunately, death descended on them in the form of roaring, swirling water released from the Larji hydroelectric plan nearby and took them away with it.
In the combing operations that followed, five bodies were recovered, 19 other students are still missing. With every passing hour, the hope for their return is diminishing, but the parents are hoping against hope.
P Srinivas and Ramadevi, residents of Balaji Swarnapuri colony of Motinagar are hoping against hope that their daughter, Ridhima, will come back safe.
On other hand, another missing student Sri Harsha's mother collapsed on hearing that her son was washed away. Sriharsa is the son of KRKV Prasad and Swarna Latha, residents of Batukammakunta. Prasad has since reached the accident spot.
Body of one ill-fated boy, Debashish Bose, was recovered from Beas River, and has been sent to Hyderabad.
Slipper saves this student
The Himachal incident snuffed out many an young life, but some students had providential escape from the jaws of death. According to reports, Venkat Sai Srikar is one such person.
Srikar, a resident of Kagaj Nagar, Adilabad, was to join his friends frolicking in the waters, but the straps of his slippers came off as he was about to get down. He stayed back in the bus to repair the torn sandals, which in turn, saved his life.
'Most tragic Sunday day of our lives'
Speaking to Sakshipost , several distressed students tried to articulate the painful scene when they saw their close friends being washed away.
"From the moment we boarded the train to Himachal, we were excited. We thought we will enjoy a lot in Shimla.We never imagined that Sunday would end up being the most tragic day of our lives," said one student.
They added that some students were washed away due to the current, while three others were also washed away when trying to rescue those trapped.
Braveheart saves 2 before drowning
The survivors also spoke in glowing terms about their friend Ashish Mantha, one of those who drowned.
Ashish Mantha (20), a resident of Chilakalaguda has lost his father a year ago. This is double whammy for his mother, who is inconsolable.
Ashish's friends call him a brave heart as before drowning he saved two lives.
Govt mulls legal actions against Dam authorities, college
Telangana Home Minister Nayini Narsimha Reddy on Tuesday said that his government is planning to take legal action against the authorities associated with the hydroelectric power plant.
Speaking to reporters at the accident spot, Narsimha Reddy said that we will take legal action against the dam authority for criminal negligence leading to the loss of innocent lives.
He also said that they will take legal action against the college authorities for taking students for a picnic by claiming the same to be an industrial training tour.
The tragic tale of two Akhils
Sabitha and Sudarshan's son, Macharla Akhil celebrated his birthday every year with his parents. However this year, there was going to be a break in that tradition. He was planning on celebrating his birthday with his friends on that ill-fated Himachal trip.
He had purchased a pair of shirt and trousers for his birthday as well. But, four days before June 12, his birthday, he drowned.
Similarly, Sunitha and Sanjay's son, Mittapally Akhil was also among those drowned on Sunday. His birthday too falls on June 12.
The names of students who missed are: 1. Bairineni Ritwik , 2. Ashish Mantha, 3. Akulla Vijetha, 4. Dasari Sreenidhi, 5. Banothu Rambabu , 6. Devashish Bose, 7. Gonoor Arvind Kumar , 8. Baswaraj Sandeep, 9. Gampala Aishwarya, 10. Kalluri Sree Harsha, 11. Kasarla Rishita Reddy, 12. Laxmi Gayatri Appanabotla, 13. Vishnu Vardhan Reddy , 14. Siva Prakash Varma, 15. Macharla Akhil, 16. Mittapally Akhil, 17. Muppidi Kiran Kumar, 18. Prahlad , 19. P Venkata Durga Tarun, 20. Mohammed Sabir Hussain Shaikh, 21. Ch Parameshwar, 22. B Mahen Sai Raj, 23. T Upendar, 24. P Ridhima, 25. Nerudu Jagadish Mudiraj