12 dead, 17 injured in Bajhang and Taplejung road accidentsThe jeep involved in Bajhang accident was overloaded, preliminary police probe shows.
Basant Pratap Singh
At least 12 people died in two road accidents in Bajhang and Taplejung districts on Wednesday.
As many as eight people died and 17 others sustained injuries, some critically, in a jeep accident at Masta Rural Municipality in Bajhang on Wednesday. The passenger jeep en route to Khetkot from Dungri Bazaar of Masta swerved off the road and plunged around 300 metres below at around 3:45pm, police said. Six injured are reportedly in critical condition.
Police identified the deceased as Samjhana Khadka, 13, Roshan Khadka, 15, Prachanda Khadka, 13, Basanti Dhami Kathayat, 28, and her seven-month-old daughter Dikshika, Birendra Kathayat, 37, and Sinki Debi Bhandari of Masta Municipality Ward No 2 and Jharendra Bohara, 50, of Shuklaphanta Municipality-7 of Kanchanpur district.
Three critically injured victims were referred to Dadeldhura while others are receiving treatment at Darchula District Hospital.
"We attempted to rescue the injured and medevace them to a well-facilitated hospital. But it was not possible as night fell before the chopper arrived in the district,” said Chief District Officer Baburam Aryal. “Critically injured passengers were sent to Dadeldhura on ambulances."
Preliminary police investigation shows the vehicle was ferrying passengers beyond its capacity. "The passengers who survived the accident said that the jeep could not move forward in a steep road, suddenly moved backward and veered off the road," said Police Inspector Ramesh Awasthi. Further investigation is underway, he added.
In Taplejung, four people died in a tractor accident at Maiwakhola Rural Municipality-4 on Tuesday night. The vehicle swerved off the road and plunged into the local stream at midnight. Police have identified the victims as tractor driver Pasang Sherpa, his brother Phurba Sherpa of Maiwakhola-5, Sharmila Sherpa and her sister Laki Sherpa of Maiwakhola-4. All the victims died on the spot, police said.
(Ananda Gautam contributed reporting from Taplejung.)