New Delhi: Seven soldiers of the Army were killed and 19 injured in Ladakh's Tuktuk sector on Friday when their vehicle skidded off the road and fell into the Shyok river, Army officials said.
The accident took place at around 9 am at a place located about 25 km from Thoise, they said, adding that the injured have been shifted to the Command Hospital in Chandimandir in Haryana's Panchkula district.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Army chief General Manoj Pande following the tragic incident. General Pande apprised Singh of the situation and the steps taken by the Army to save the lives of the injured soldiers.
"Deeply saddened by the loss of lives of our brave Indian Army personnel due to a bus tragedy in Ladakh. We will never forget their exemplary service to our nation. My condolences to the bereaved families and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured," the Defence Minister wrote on Twitter.
The officials said the vehicle the soldiers were travelling in skidded off the road and fell in the Shyok river.
A total of 26 soldiers were on their way from a transit camp in Partapur to a forward location in sub-sector Hanif.
"Seven individuals have been declared fatal so far. There are grievous injuries to others as well. Dedicated efforts are underway to ensure that the best medical care is provided to the injured," an official said.
The officials said the vehicle fell into the Shyok river to a depth of approximately 50 to 60 feet from the road.
"A party of 26 soldiers was moving from the transit camp in Partapur to a forward location in sub-sector Hanif. At around 9 am, 25 km from Thoise, the vehicle skidded off the road and fell in the Shyok river," the official cited above said.
All the injured were initially taken to the 403 Field Hospital at Partapur.
Hours later, all 19 injured personnel were shifted to Chandimandir.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also condoled the death of the soldiers.
"Deeply saddened by the news of loss of precious lives of our brave Army personnel in Ladakh. Heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. Wish a speedy recovery to the injured," he tweeted.