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Scores of Victims as Bus Veers Off Highway in Nepal

Scores of Victims as Bus Veers Off Highway in Nepal

Saturday, 28 October, 2017 - 09:00
Nepalese rescue workers and bystanders gather at the site of a bus accident in Jajarkot district, some 600 kms northwest of Kathmandu on March 9, 2017. AFP PHOTO

An overcrowded passenger bus heading toward Nepal's capital veered off a key highway early Saturday, killing at least 31 people, police said.

The bus plunged into the Trishuli River, which is known for fast currents, said district police chief Dhruba Raj Raut.

"We have recovered the bodies of 31 people from the place of the accident and number of missing is still unknown as the bus had no record of the total number of passengers," he said.

The bodies were pulled out from the site about 80 kilometers east of the capital, Kathmandu.

It wasn't clear how many people were aboard the bus. Only a small section of the wreckage was visible.

Local TV footage showed rescue workers pulling the dead and injured from the water, while soldiers in boats scoured the river for the missing.

At least 16 injured passengers were recovered from the river and taken to local hospitals, police said.

Authorities are yet to confirm the cause of the crash, but local media quoted passengers saying that the driver may have been drunk.

Police Inspector Barun Bahadur Singh, at the scene of the accident, told AFP that the driver was injured in the accident and is thought to have fled.

Road accidents in the Himalayan nation, which is mostly covered with mountains, are generally blamed on poorly maintained vehicles and road conditions.

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