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SOURCE: PTI

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh expressed sadness on Saturday over the deaths of five Indian Army soldiers after a Tank met with an accident while getting across a river in Ladakh on Friday.

“Deeply saddened at the loss of lives of five of our brave Indian Army soldiers in an unfortunate accident while getting across a river in Ladakh in a tank. We will never forget the exemplary service of our gallant soldiers to the nation,” Rajnath Singh said in a post on X.

“My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. The nation stands firm with them during this hour of grief,” he added.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said he was deeply distressed by the news of the accident and the loss of lives.

“Deeply distressed at the loss of lives of 5 Indian Army bravehearts, including a JCO, while getting a T-72 tank across a river in Ladakh. 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 posted on X.

Arunachal CM Pema Khandu also expressed his condolences on the incident
“Deeply disturbed to learn that a T-72 tank with five soldiers has been swept away by flash floods near the Line of Actual Control in the Nyoma-Chusul area of Ladakh. Praying for the safety and well-being of our brave soldiers,” he posted on X.

Earlier, five Indian Army soldiers, including one Junior Commissioned Officer and four jawans, lost their lives when an Army Tank met with an accident in the Daulat Beg Oldie area in Ladakh on Friday evening. All five bodies have been recovered, defence officials said on Saturday.

The T-72 tank which the Army personnel were operating met with an accident during a river crossing exercise. The mishap took place on Friday due to a sudden increase in water levels, said defence officials.

“There were five soldiers in the tank at the time of the incident, including one Junior Commissioner Officer and four Jawans. One person has been located while the search for others is still going on,” defence officials said in an initial confirmation.