In a tragic incident, as many as 16 Indian Army personnel, including three Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) lost their lives in an accident in north Sikkim’s Zema area. The accident happened after the vehicle they were travelling in lost control and skidded off the road.
“In a tragic road accident, involving an Army truck on December 23 at Zema in North Sikkim, 16 brave hearts of the Indian Army have lost their lives. The vehicle was part of a three-vehicle convoy that had moved from Chatten in the morning towards Thangu,” The Indian Army statement read.
As per the statement, the vehicle skidded down a steep slope while negotiating a sharp turn at Zema.
“A rescue mission was immediately launched, and four injured soldiers have been air evacuated. Unfortunately, three Junior Commissioned Officers and 13 soldiers succumbed to the injuries sustained in the accident. Indian Army stands firm with the bereaved families, at this hour of loss,” the Army said.
President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are among several leaders who have offer their condolences to the bereaved families.
“Anguished to learn about the loss of lives of brave soldiers of Indian Army in a road accident in Sikkim. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” the President tweeted.
“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,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh and Home minister Amit Shah also expressed grief over the tragic incident.
“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,” the Defence minister tweeted.
“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,” tweeted Amit Shah.
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi also expressed shock at the sudden loss. “Shocked to hear the news of the tragic road accident in Zema, Sikkim, which has cost us the lives of 16 brave Army personnel,” Rahul tweeted.
“My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. Wishing a speedy recovery to those injured,” he added.