At least 18 people are dead and 200 missing after a piece of a Himalayan glacier fell into a river and triggered a huge flood in northern India.

The floodwaters burst open a dam and a deluge of water poured through a valley in the state of Uttarakhand.

Most of the missing people are believed to be workers from two hydro power plants in the area.

Hundreds of troops, paramilitaries and military helicopters have been sent to the region to help with rescue efforts.

It is not yet clear what caused the glacial burst.

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