GANGTOK, June 24 (PTI): Sixteen people perished in three landslides which hit villages surrounding the West Sikkim district headquarters at Geyzing.
All three landslides took place at around 11.30 PM last night.
14 people were buried alive when rolling debris from a hill piled on a house, where 25 people were residing, at Khorong village in Yangthang constituency, State Information Officer, West Sikkim Simon Subba said.
The second landslide also buried a house at Tikjek village killing on the spot a man identified as Kumar Thakur who lived there along with his friend, Subba said.
His friend had a miraculous escape when large chunks of mud and stones brought the house down like a pack of cards.
A tourist was killed when mounds of debris and mud crashed down onto a hotel, Mandala Lodge, at Lower Pelling where he and two of his friends were putting up for the night. The two others escaped unhurt.
The bodies of all 16 victims have been retrieved as search and rescue operations were carried out throughout the night. Senior officials from the district administration, DC West, Santa Pradhan, and MLA of the area P L Subba visited the affected villages.