Sixteen army personnel were killed and four others injured when a vehicle skidded off the road and fell into a gorge in North Sikkim near the India-China border on Friday. According to a senior police officer, the injured have been airlifted to a military hospital in North Bengal.
The accident took place around 8 am at Gema 3, about 15 km from Lachen, located about 130 km from state capital Gangtok.
Chungthang Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Arun Thatal told that the army vehicle was going towards the border posts with 20 people. It seems that the vehicle skidded off the road while negotiating a curve in the Gema 3 area and fell down in a gorge.
All 16 bodies have been recovered from the accident site. Thatal, who was at the spot along with a police team from Lachen, said the condition of the four seriously injured army personnel remained unknown. The bodies are being taken to Government STNM Hospital in Gangtok for post-mortem and will later be handed over to the Army. He said that the regiment of the victims is yet to be traced. According to the police, the army vehicle was picking up army personnel on the way as it was going towards its destination.