20 killed, dozens missing in Nepal bus accident

May 19th, 2008 - 7:07 pm ICT by admin  

Kathmandu, May 19 (DPA) At least 20 people were killed and dozens were feared missing after an over-crowded bus plunged off a mountain highway in western Nepal Monday, the police said. The police said the bus plunged into fast flowing Rapti River in Dang district, about 400 km west of the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, after skidding off the highway Monday morning.

The police confirmed at least 20 bodies were recovered from the river and said they feared more than 40 others remained missing.

The police said many of the victims were trapped in the bus as it sank in the river.

Police and rescue teams pulled out several people alive from the bus but say hopes of finding others were slim.

Of the 28 people injured in the accident, nearly half were rushed to hospital in serious condition. The bus was carrying nearly double its capacity of 45 people.

Most of the passengers were pilgrims on their way to a Hindu temple on a remote hill. At least 36 people on the bus were reported to be Indian nationals.

Hundreds of people are killed each year in road accidents involving public transport across Nepal. Most accidents are blamed on reckless driving.

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