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20 die in Sindhupalchowk bus accident

Posted by Ramesh Khati on September 11, 2009


KATHMANDU, Sept 10(MYREPUBLICA): At least twenty passengers including the driver were confirmed dead and more than 10 injured after a passenger bus (Na 2 Kha 6228) belonging to Arniko Yatayat headed from Jalbire in Sindhupalchowk to Kathmandu veered off the Araniko Highway and plunged into the Sunkoshi River 30 meters below the road Thursday morning.

The accident occurred at Kukhureakar, Ghumnedanda of the Arniko Highway at 9:30 a.m., Gopal Magar, an eye witness said.

Fifteen of the dead have been identified including the bus driver Krishna Karki of Ramechhap, Ramesh Shrestha from Panchkhaal-7, Kavre, Mira Moktan of Sunakhani-2, Sindhupalchowk, Laxmi Thapa of Selang-6, Gyan Bahadur Shrestha of Jalbire-6 and Bharat Thapa of Batase-4.

Saroj Nepal of Kubhinde-8, Ramesh Shrestha and his wife Bel Kumari of Yamunadanda-8, Durga Sapkota of Kubhinde-7, Parvati Mahat of Yamunadanda-8, Dal Bahadur Acharya of Kunchowk-7, Anjana Shrestha of Fulpingdanda-6, Tek Bahadur Nepali of Kubhinde-6 and Suman Bharati of Simpal, Kavre have also been identified as dead. The other five have yet to be identified. The bodies are being kept at the Barhabise Health Center.

Raj Bahadur Shrestha, a passenger who swam to safety, said the bus that had left Jalbire at seven in the morning met with the accident while it was speeding to prevent another bus of Arniko Yatayat coming from Barhabise from overtaking it following an argument between the drivers at Balefi.

“The driver of the other bus had come and scolded Karki even at Bhainse, the next stop after Balefi. The driver had smashed a rearview mirror of our bus and Karki had sped our bus in anger,” said Shrestha.

“I had seen the driver, who had not allowed the bus from Barhabise to overtake for another two kilometers away from Bhainse, take a turn and the bus suddenly veered into the river,” Shrestha added.

Shrestha, who is currently undergoing treatment at the Scheer Memorial Hospital, Dhulikhel, said the bus had left Jalbire with 26 passengers and had picked up others on the way. “A few of them got off following the wrangle at Bhainse. So, there were only 35 passengers,” he reasoned. Another passenger Mira Bomjan of Fulpingkot have returned home following treatment at the Dhulikhel Hospital while two other passengers did not need medical attention.

The bodies were recovered from the accident site and Dolalghat, located downstream of the accident site. Teams of Nepal Police, Nepal Army and the Armed Police Force were engaged in the rescue operation.

A bus (Na 1 Kha 8193) of Arniko Yatayat going to Jalbire had met an accident at Chanaute on July 23, 2006 killing 23 including the driver and injuring 21 more.


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