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Sikkim: 16 Indian Army Jawans Perish in Road Accident, Condolences Offered

The Army truck, part of a three-vehicle convoy, skidded while negotiating a steep turn in North Sikkim's Zema, resulting in the death of 16 soldiers.

Sikkim: 16 Indian Army Jawans Perish in Road Accident, Condolences Offered

Sentinel Digital Desk

GANGTOK: In a tragic accident that occurred in Sikkim on Friday, 16 soldiers of the Indian Army lost their lives when the truck they were travelling in skidded off the road and fell into a deep gorge. Another four jawans were reportedly injured in the accident and they were subsequently air- lifted for treatment.

An Indian Army statement said that sixteen Jawans, including three Junior Commissioned Officers and 13 soldiers, of the Indian Army, lost their lives in an accident on Friday when the truck in which they were travelling skidded down a steep slope and fell into a gorge.

The accident is said to have taken place at Zema in North Sikkim. The vehicle which met with the terrible fate was part of a three-vehicle convoy that had started off from Chatten in the morning and headed towards Thangu. It was at a place at Zema that the vehicle skidded while negotiating a sharp turn on a steep slope, the statement from the Army said.

Four soldiers who were left injured in the accident have been evacuated by air, the Army added.

The incident left a deep impression on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, defence minister Rajnath Singh, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and others, who expressed anguish at the loss of the soldiers' lives and also offered their condolences to the bereaved families.

A tweet from the Prime Minister's Office read, "Pained by the loss of lives of our brave army personnel due to a road mishap in Sikkim. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon."

Taking to Twitter, defence minister Rajnath Singh posted, "Deeply pained by the loss of lives of the Indian Army personnel due to a road accident in North Sikkim. The nation is deeply grateful for their service and commitment. My condolences to the bereaved families. Praying for the speedy recovery of those who are injured."

"Anguished to learn about the tragic road accident that took away the lives of our brave Army soldiers in Sikkim. I express my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. The injured have been provided with every possible assistance, may they recover at the earliest," Union home minister Amit Shah also said.

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