Ladakh: Army vehicle falls into river, 7 soldiers dead
At least seven soldiers were killed on Friday when an Army vehicle slid off the road and tumbled down into a gorge near the Shyok River in Ladakh. The mishap occurred in the Turtuk sector when a group of 26 soldiers was leaving the Partapur Transit Camp, said the Army. Moreover, the Air Force has been tasked with transporting those injured to Western Command.
"A party of 26 soldiers was moving from the Transit Camp in Partapur to a forward location in Sub Sector Hanif," an Indian Army official was quoted as saying by NDTV. "At approximately 9 am, around 25km from Thoise, the vehicle skidded off the road and fell in Shyok river (to a depth of approximately 50-60ft), resulting in injuries to all occupants," they added.
Confirming the deaths of seven soldiers, the Army said, "There are grievous injuries to others as well." "Dedicated efforts are underway to ensure...the best medical care is provided to the injured, including requisition of air effort from the Air Force to shift the more serious casualties to Western Command," it added. Surgical teams from Leh were rushed to Partapur after the soldiers were rescued.
Reportedly, all 26 soldiers onboard the vehicle were evacuated after the mishap and immediately taken to the 403 Field Hospital at Partapur. However, seven soldiers later succumbed to their severe injuries at the hospital, while 19 are still critical and under medical observation. The soldiers were being transported to a forward location in Sub Sector Hanif from Partapur Transit Camp on a bus.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to express grief over the incident. "Anguished by the bus accident in Ladakh in which we have lost our brave army personnel. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. I hope those injured recover at the earliest. All possible assistance is being given to the affected (sic)," he said in a tweet.
According to the latest media reports, the Indian Air Force's C-17 Globemaster aircraft airlifted all surviving 19 injured soldiers to the Chandimandir Command Hospital in Panchkula, Haryana. Notably, Chandimandir Cantonment is the headquarters of the Indian Army's Western Command. The Indian Air Force had been requisitioned by the Army for air support so that the wounded soldiers could be shifted, said reports.