At least 17 people killed as bus falls into Sunkoshi River in SindhupalchokSearch and rescue operation will be carried out throughout the night, say police.
At least 17 people were killed when a passenger bus plunged into the Sunkoshi river in Sindhupalchok district on Sunday afternoon.
The bus (Ba 2 Kha 7245), owned by Sailungeshwor Transport, was travelling to Kathmandu from Maga Deurali in Dolakha district when it crashed at Sukute area at around 1pm. Police said the bus plummetted nearly 70 feet down the road.
While two of the deceased victims died during the course of treatment at Scheer Memorial Hospital in Banepa and Dhulikhel Hospital in Dhulikhel, the others died on the spot.
Five bodies were found trapped inside the bus while the remaining bodies were recovered from the river.
As of Sunday evening, police had identified seven of the deceased as Ranjita KC, three-month-old Sisan Tamang, Ratna Kumari Raut, Chet Kumari Basnet, Salina Tamang, Chameli Shrestha and her six-year-old daughter Sayarani Shrestha.
Fifty passengers were rescued and taken to Dhulikhel Hospital for treatment.
The bus driver, Dhan Bahadur Tamang, 35, was admitted to Sindhu Sadabahar Khadichaur Hospital.
One of the survivors, Chhatrakumari Thapa, 61, said she does not recall what led to the accident.
“I boarded the bus at 8am from Magadeurali Bakhor along with my 22-year-old daughter Harimaya. She was also badly injured in the incident,” she said from the bed of Dhulikhel Hospital. “The bus was not moving too fast. In fact, it felt like it was moving below the normal speed. I still haven’t been able to figure out what actually led to the accident.”
A search and rescue team comprising of Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force were expected to continue their search for possible missing passengers throughout Sunday night.
"We do not have exact data of the death toll yet. We will carry out the search and rescue operation throughout the night," said Sub-inspector Rajesh Kumar Dahal of Sindhupalchok District Traffic Police Office.
Nagendra Adhikari contributed reporting from Kavre.