KATHMANDU: At least 15 persons were killed and 18 others injured after a bus veered off the road in Sunkoshi Rural Municipality of Sindhupalchok district, on Sunday morning. The bus was ferrying the pilgrims returning from Kalinchowk temple in Dolakha district.
The accident occurred when the bus (Ba 4 Kha 4468) en route from Kalinchowk to Bhaktapur fell 500 metres below the road at ‘Chha Kilo’ along the Lamosanghu-Jiri road section.
Nine women, five men and one child are among those killed in the accident, said Sindhupalchok District Police Office. Twelve people died on the spot while three breathed their last in Dhulikhel Hospital, police said.
The deceased have been identified as Laxmi Shrestha, Mahesh Tamang, Ram Sharan Khatri, Maiya Khatri, Gangamaya Lama, Sabina Tamang, Reshma Tamang, Roshani Tamang, Phulmaya Tamang, Ranjit Basnet, Junmaya Tamang, Manju Tamang, Suk Bahadur Tamang and Chinu Basnet. The identity of a woman has yet to be ascertained.
Of the 18 injured, 13 are being treated at Hams Hospital in Kathmandu. Two are being treated at Dhulikhel Hospital, two at KMC Hospital, Kathmandu, and one at Sindhu Sadabahar Hospital, Sindhupalchok. Most of the injured are said to be in critical condition, police said.
Police said the bus was ferrying a total of 35 pilgrims who had stayed over at Sindhupalchok’s Mudhe last night. The bus, on its way to Bhaktapur’s Suryabinayak, met with the accident early on Sunday morning, said Police Inspector Nabaraj Neupane.
Passengers said the accident occurred as the driver lost control at a turn.
Meanwhile, police have launched a manhunt to nab the absconding bus driver who fled the scene after the incident.