Siliguri: After Manali on Sunday, now a tragic news from Sikkim, vis-à-vis tourists from Bengal.
As many as five tourists from the state have died and three are critically injured after an SUV fell into a gorge near Nayabazar in West Sikkim.
All the deceased and the injured tourists are either from the same family or are close relatives. Hailing from Machlandpur and Barasat in North 24-Parganas, they had left for a tour of Sikkim on 20 October.
There were some 12 people in the team, and yesterday late afternoon, they set out for Kaluk in West Sikkim in two SUVs. One of the SUVs, a Mahindra Xylo, fell into a gorge near Nayabazar around 7.30 pm.
The second SUV had safely passed through the area. It made a U-turn to enquire why the first SUV is lagging behind and thus discovered it lying twisted in then gorge some 100 feet below the road.
By the time people from nearby villages reached the accident hit SUV, five tourists were already dead. Three tourists and the driver were rescued in a critically injured condition. One of them was admitted to Mangalbari Primary Health Centre; the rest three were taken to Namchi District Hospital.
The deceased five have been identified as Bibhas Pathak (41), a doctor at Tehatta Hospital in Nadia, his parents Bajendra Pathak (73) and Ashalata Pathak (62), elder cousin sister Lily Pathak (52), and maternal uncle Niharendu Biswas alias Tuku (62).
The first four hailed from Nutanpally at Machlandpur; the fifth tourist was from Barasat Choto Bazar.
The three injured include Bibhas Pathak’s wife and child, and Lily Pathak’s husband. Their condition is critical.