Six killed, 18 injured in Palpa bus accidentThe driver of the bus travelling from Saljhandi towards Khursane of Palpa was inebriated at the time of the accident, police say.
At least six people died and 18 were injured when a bus fell off a cliff in Madhuban, Rainadevi Chahara Rural Municipality-8, in Palpa district on Thursday night.
Most of the passengers were from different settlements of the Khursane village of Raina Devi Chehra Rural Municipality-8.
According to the Palpa District Police Office, the accident that occurred near Khursane village under the Saljhandi-Dhorpatan road section was blamed on the driver.
“When the police personnel were recording statements from the injured, all of them complained that the driver had been drinking alcohol. The doctor’s report confirmed that the driver was drunk,” Birendra Thapa, information officer at District Police Office Palpa, told the Post.
According to Lila Gaha, one of the injured, the driver had parked the vehicle at a local restaurant in Tarifat for around two hours. “People got upset and started quarrelling with the driver. After the dispute, the driver started the vehicle and in under 15 minutes the bus fell off the cliff,” said Gaha.
The bus from Saljhandi of Rupandehi district was headed for Khursane of Palpa. Six people died on the spot. Three of them are from one family. The injured are being treated at Lumbini Regional Hospital and Edmond City Hospital.
Thapa said the deceased included five women and one 11-year-old girl.
Devka Rana, who lost three members of his family including the child, says the villages are aggrieved by the tragedy.
“Everyone goes to Saljhandi market for personal work. Only one bus runs daily from Saljhandi to Khursane, leaving in the morning and returning at around 8 pm,” said Rana.
“I spoke to a few survivors. They told me the driver got into an argument with the passengers after he got drunk and delayed the bus,” said Rana.
Rem Bahadur Rana, ward chairman of Raina Devi Chehra Rural Municipality-8, said that since the Saljhandi-Dhorpatan road section is not accident-prone, the driver was at fault.
According to Thapa, the bus fell 70 metres below the road. The condition of the 18 injured, except two, is critical.
The rescue team had difficulties recovering the bodies and rescuing the injured due to poor weather conditions on Thursday night.
“It was dark and foggy but still the driver was speeding,” said Lila Gaha.