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WATCH | Loud Blast in River Teesta as Army Ammunition, Swept Away in Sikkim Floods, Explode – News18

Last Updated: October 07, 2023, 08:19 IST

Gangtok (incl. Upper Tadong), India

Sikkim flashfloods: No injuries were reported after a huge cache of ammunition exploded in Teesta river. (X/@jytmkh)

Sikkim Flash Floods: Of the 23 Army personnel who had gone missing from Bardang, the bodies of seven have been recovered from different areas downstream of Teesta.

A huge cache of ammunition, reportedly belonging to the Army, exploded in Sikkimโ€™s Rangpo on the bank of River Teesta, resulting in a loud blast and thick cloud of smoke.

A report in India Today quoted Army sources as saying that the ammunition was swept away by the river in the flash floods. However, there were no injuries.

The Army also alerted local residents and requested them to report to officials if they found any weapons or ammunition lying unattended, the report stated.

Earlier on Thursday, an Army jawan, hailing from Assamโ€™s Baksa district, went missing after the flash flood in the Teesta river basin.

Mitul Kalita, a craftsman serving in the technical department of the Indian Army, was among the 22 soldiers missing after the flash flood in Sikkim, news agency PTI quoted army sources as saying.

So far, 26 bodies, including those of seven Armymen, have been recovered from the slush and debris of the flash flood, while the search continued for the 142 people who are still missing, officials said on Friday night.

The flash flood, which was triggered by a cloudburst in the early hours of Wednesday, has affected over 25,000 people, damaged more than 1,200 houses and washed away 13 bridges, bringing the picturesque Himalayan state to its knees.

So far, 2,413 people have been rescued from different areas and 6,875 people are taking shelter in 22 relief camps set up across the state, most of which has been cut off from the rest of the country.

Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh for the families of the deceased and an immediate relief of Rs 2,000 each for all those taking shelter in the camps.

Of the 23 Army personnel who had gone missing from Bardang, the bodies of seven have been recovered from different areas downstream of Teesta, while one of them was rescued earlier.

The search for the remaining missing soldiers is continuing both in Sikkim and the northern parts of West Bengal through which the Teesta flows, the chief minister said.

At Bardang, Army vehicles have been dug out and stores were recovered, a defence statement said, adding that tracker dogs and special radars have been deployed for assistance in the search operations.

A total of 16 people, including seven Armymen, died in Pakyong district, while six people died in Gangtok and four people lost their lives in the Mangan district, the Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority (SSDMA) said in its latest bulletin.

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