South Asia News
Thirteen killed, dozens missing in Nepal bus accident
May 19, 2008, 8:19 GMT
Kathmandu - At least 13 people were killed and dozens of others were missing after an overcrowded bus plunged off a mountain highway in western Nepal on Monday, police and media reports said.
Police said the bus plunged into the fast-flowing Rapti River in Dang district, about 400 kilometres west of the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, after skidding off the highway on Monday morning.
Police confirmed at least 13 bodies were recovered from the river and said more than 40 others remained missing.
Police and rescue teams had pulled out several people alive from the river 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.
Media reports in Kathmandu said 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.
Reports said several of the pilgrims were Indian nationals although this has not been officially confirmed.
The cause of the accident was not immediately clear, the police said.
Hundred of people are killed each year in road accidents involving public transport across Nepal.
Most accidents are blamed on reckless driving, poor and dangerous road conditions made worse by Nepal's mountainous terrain and disregard for passenger safety.