Five Army soldiers die in flash floods in eastern Ladakh

Rajnath, Amit Shah express grief


NEW DELHI/LEH: Five Indian Army soldiers died as they were swept away while trying to get a tank across the Shyok river in eastern Ladakh, officials said on Saturday.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said he was deeply saddened by the unfortunate accident, which occurred on Friday.
“Deeply saddened at the loss of lives of five of our brave Indian Army soldiers in an unfortunate accident while getting the tank across a river in Ladakh,” Singh said in a post on X.
“We will never forget exemplary service of our gallant soldiers to the nation. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. The nation stands firm with them during this hour of grief,” he said.
Officials said the soldiers were trying to get the tank across the river when the accident happened.
“On 28 Jun 2024 night, while deinducting from a military training activity, an army tank got stuck in the Shyok River, near Saser Brangsa, Eastern Ladakh due to sudden increase in the water level,” the Army’s Leh-based Fire and Fury Corps said.
“Rescue teams were rushed to the location. However, due to high current and water levels, the rescue mission didn’t succeed and the tank crew lost their lives,” it said.
“The Indian Army regrets loss of five brave personnel while being operationally deployed in Eastern Ladakh. Rescue operations are underway,” it said on X.
The soldiers who died in the accident were from an armoured regiment of the Indian Army, the officials said.
They said the melting of snow resulted in the increase in water levels of the Shyok river, which passes through the strategically key Depsang region.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also expressed sadness over the death of soldiers.
“I am saddened by the news of the accident during the military exercise in Ladakh. I express my condolences to the families of the brave soldiers who lost their lives in this accident. The whole country is with the families of the brave soldiers,” Shah wrote on ‘X’ in Hindi.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra expressed sorrow at the death of five soldiers.
“Deeply distressed at the loss of lives of five Indian Army bravehearts, including a JCO (junior commissioned officer), while getting a T-72 tank across a river in Ladakh,” Kharge said in a post on X.
“Our heartfelt condolences to the families of the Army personnel who fell victim to this painful tragedy. In this hour of grief, the nation stands together in saluting the exemplary service of our valiant soldiers,” he added.
Rahul Gandhi, the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha, said the news of the soldiers’ death was extremely sad.
“The news of the martyrdom of five Indian Army soldiers in an accident during a military exercise of a tank crossing a river in Ladakh is extremely sad,” he said in a post in Hindi on X.
“While paying my humble tribute to all the martyred soldiers, I express my deepest condolences to the bereaved families. We stand with them in this hour of grief. The country will always remember their dedication, service and sacrifice,” he said in a post.
Priyanka Gandhi also expressed her condolences to the families of the five soldiers.
“The news of the martyrdom of five army soldiers in the sudden flood … in Ladakh is extremely sad. May God grant peace to the departed souls. My deepest condolences to the bereaved families,” she said in Hindi in a post on X.
“The country will always remain indebted to our brave soldiers and their families for this supreme sacrifice,” she added.

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