At least 31 people feared killing in a a bus carrying passengers returning from a Hindu festival to the Nepali capital of Kathmandu when it skidded off the main highway and plunged into a river on Saturday.
Although the accident occurred around dawn, around 50 km (30 miles) west of the city on the Prithvi Highway that connects Kathmandu with the southern plains, rescuer continue to search dead bodies.
“We have recovered 31 bodies and are looking for more,” government official Ram Mani Mishra. “It’s highly unlikely for anyone to survive for so long under water.”
Rescuers on rubber boats and police divers managed to spot the bus hours after the crash and were trying to lift it from water with the help of a crane, Mishra said.
Apart from the deaths, 16 people have been injured, administrator Shyam Prasad Bhandari said. Two with grave injuries were taken to Kathmandu while the rest were treated at a local hospital, he said.
Police said survivors were thrown out of the bus windows but another 13 people were still believed to be trapped in the bus.
District Traffic Police Office, Gajuri, has identified 10 of the deceased as Indian national Mamata Devi Thakur, Raj Kumar Yadav (50) and Aditya Yadav (6) of Siraha district, Rama Nanda Yadav (24), two Parvati Chaudhary (26), Sushan Chaudhary (3), Sanjeet Kumar Jha (38), Manjeet Kumar Jha (33) and Chandravati Jha (16).
The overloaded night coach (Na 6 Kha 1467) heading to Kathmandu from Rajbiraj, plunged into the Trishuli River from the turning point at Bange in Ghatabesi at around 6:00 am today, according to Superintendent of Police Dhruba Raj Raut at the District Police Office, Dhading.
Security personnel from Nepal Police, Nepal Army and Armed Police Force with the help of locals, jointly rescued 16 injured passengers who were fallen into the river in the accident along the Prithvi Highway. The teams have recovered 19 dead bodies until now while the search is on for other missing passengers.