19 killed, many missing when bus plunges into river in Nepal
At least 19 people were killed and potentially dozens went missing Thursday when an overcrowded bus plunged off a remote mountain highway into a river in western Nepal, police said, DPA reported.
The bus fell about 200 metres into the fast-flowing Karnali River in the Dailekh district, about 450 kilometres west of Kathmandu.
The bus was packed with passengers inside and on its roof at the time of the accident, and police said they expected the death toll to rise.
Police and army search teams were mobilized to search for the missing.
It was not clear how many people were on the bus at the time of the accident, but police quoted survivors as saying the bus was carrying nearly 70 passengers.
"The bodies of 19 passengers have been recovered from the river so far," police inspector Min Bahadur Ghale said. "Another 13 people who were seriously injured were airlifted to the regional town of Nepalgunj for medical treatment."
The rescue effort was delayed because of the remoteness of the area and its difficult mountainous terrain, Ghale said.
Police said the cause of the accident was not immediately known.
Hundreds of people are killed each year in road accidents involving public transport in Nepal.
In remote Nepal, the frequent overcrowding of public transport is one of the main causes of accidents.