At least 28 people reported dead after Nepal bus crash

Passenger bus drove off highway early on Saturday and plunged into the Trishuli River

 A view of Mastamandali village in Accham district, Nepal. Photograph: EPA

A view of Mastamandali village in Accham district, Nepal. Photograph: EPA

 

A passenger bus heading towards Nepal’s capital has veered off a key highway killing at least 28 people and injuring 15.

The bus drove off the highway early on Saturday and plunged into the Trishuli River, which is known for fast currents, said government administrator Shyam Prasad Bhandari.

Army rescuers and divers were scouring the river searching for bodies still trapped in the wreckage, which was mostly submerged in the river.

The bodies were pulled out from the site, about 80km east of the capital, Kathmandu.

“We have already pulled out 28 bodies and believe there are still more bodies trapped in the wreckage,” Mr Bhandari said at the crash site.

Mr Bhandari, who was co-ordinating the rescue effort, said the river currents were making it difficult for rescuers.

It was not clear how many people were on board the bus and rescuers were searching for more possible survivors despite the strong currents. Only a small section of the wreckage was visible.

Mr Bhandari said a preliminary investigation showed that the bus was speeding along the two-lane mountain highway, which is the main route connecting Kathmandu with most other parts of the Himalayan nation.

Traffic crashes in Nepal, which is mostly covered with mountains, are generally blamed on poorly maintained vehicles and road conditions. - AP