DHADING, July 17: At least 16 people died and 15 others were injured when a bus heading to Kathmandu from Katari of Udayapur district plunged into the Trishuli River along the Prithvi Highway in Dhading district on Monday morning.
According to reports, the passenger bus (Na 2 Kha 4951) was overloaded and fell 200 meters down the road after losing balance at a bend at Krishnabhir. Many of the passengers are still missing in the river.
One of the injured Narbu Tamang, 22, told Republica the accident occurred as the bus was overloaded. “The bus was overcrowded and it was also overloaded with sacks of mangoes,” Tamang said while undergoing treatment at Star Hospital in Sanepa, Lalitpur.
Though Tamang survived the accident, he lost two of his friends. “I had insisted my friends not to travel in the bus. I had told them that the bus was overcrowded, but they did not listen to me,” said a tearful Tamang. “I would have stopped them at any cost. Had they listened to me, they would be alive today.”
The deceased have been identified as bus driver Khop Bahadur Dhamala, Shiva Bahadur Karki, Deepak Prasad Khanal, Ramlal Mandal of Siraha, Koshish Ghimire (17) of Sindhuli, Mohammad Kalamodin Seth of Siraha, Khim Narayan Shrestha (21) of Udayapur, Mandira Pariyar (35) of Mahottari, Narayan Adhikari (41) of Nuwakot, Surendra Shah (21) of Udayapur, Ruku Magar (51) of Sindhuli, Prithvimaya BK (31) of Udayapur and her two daughters, Pratiksha Gadal and a three-year-old girl whose identity has yet to be confirmed .
Among the deceased, six died on the spot, three died during treatment and seven others while being taken out of the river, informed police inspector Binod Ghimire at Area Police Offic, Gajuri.
The injured are Meera Karki, Meera Shah, Indra Bahadur Karki, Narbu Tamang, Parshuram Subedi, Salma Magar, Bindu Rai, Bheshraj Dhamala, Surya Tamang, Santa Bahadur Tamang, Indrajeet Mahara, Rajendra Baraili, Min Bahadur Shivakoti, Suraj Magar and a boy who is yet to be identified.
Meanwhile, Bhala Yadav, Tikaram Dhamala, Bipin Koirala, Rajkumar Ram, Rajan Paudel, Bir Bahadur Sunar, Bip Narayan Shrestha, Basudev Lama, Panchankumar Mahato and Babu Tamang have been missing in the river. “As the total number of passengers in not known, more people could be missing,” Ghimire said.