Sikkim Flash Floods: Bodies of 8 army personnel found, 14 still missing as search continues
The mortal remains of eight Army personnel, who were part of a group of soldiers that went missing following flash floods in Sikkim, were recovered on Saturday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said. Singh also expressed his condolences over the loss of lives in flash floods triggered by a cloudburst in Sikkim.
"Deeply pained by the tragic loss of precious lives including eight Army personnel in the recent flash floods arising out of a glacial lake burst in Sikkim," the Defence Minister said in a post on X.
"Out of the 23 missing soldiers, one was rescued while the mortal remains of eight brave soldiers were recovered. Their sacrifice, while being deployed in forward areas in the service of the nation, will not be forgotten," Singh said. "Search operations to rescue the remaining 14 soldiers and missing civilians are underway," he added.
As per the Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority (SSDMA) report, the death toll was registered at 26 with 142 people still reported missing. It said 2413 people have been rescued, and 1203 houses have been damaged in the flash flood.
Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang on Saturday said that maximum damage in the flash floods in Teesta River took place after the 1200 MW dam in Chungthang in the State's Mangan district broke alleging substandard construction work by the previous government in the State.
CM visited flood-affected areas and relief camps at Naga Village in Mangan to assess the situation and interacted with people there this morning.
The Lhonak glacier in the Sikkim Himalayas burst on October 3, breaching one side of the lake leading to the rise in the water levels in Teesta and inundating several areas of the state.
The Sikkim government has set up 18 relief camps in Singtam, Rangpo, Dikchu and Adarsh Gaon which have faced most of the damages. However, due to a lack of connectivity with Chungthang, the relief camps there are being set up by the Indian Army and other paramilitaries.