Body of one victim recovered yesterday

Accident: Of the three monks of Tshothang monastery who were washed away by the Jomori river in Lauri gewog in Jomotshangkha, Samdrupjongkhar, the body of a 21-year-old has been found.

Meanwhile, the search for the other two, a 17- and 20-year-old will continue today.

The incident occurred on November 19 between 12 to 1pm when the victims went to swim in the river.

The body was found below a cliff, about 700 to 800 metres away from the place of incident at the intersection of Jomori and Zangthi rivers. The body was handed over to the deceased’s family.

According to police, despite attempts to stop them by one of the victim’s relatives, the victims still went to swim saying they wanted to freshen up as the weather was hot.

Seven monks including the victims went shopping and were on the way back to the monastery when the incident occurred in Wongthi. The other monks who were watching the victims swim from a suspension bridge followed the victims for about 100 to 200 metres.

A source said that the victims may have been washed away because of the strong under current of the river. “There were incidences of the river washing away people in the past,” the source said.

A police official said that Indian counterparts were informed to lower the gate of their irrigation channel’s mini dam.

A search team of about 180 people including Royal Bhutan Police, Royal Bhutan Army, dungkhag officials and shopkeepers, among others searched for the bodies for the past two days.

Dechen Tshomo