18 dead after Nepal bus plunges into gorge

THURSDAY, 28/11/2019 14:25:03

At least 18 people died after a bus skidded off a highway in Nepal and plunged into a deep gorge on Wednesday, authorities said, as rescuers scoured the steep terrain for survivors.

A general view shows the urban area of the Kathmandu Valley from Kirtipur on the outskirts of Kathmandu on August 23, 2019. Photo: AFP/PRAKASH MATHEMA

The bus was travelling from hilly Arghakhanchi district west of Kathmandu to the southern city of Butwal when it left the road and plummeted around 350m to the ground.

"We have recovered dead bodies of 17 passengers and the bus driver ... including two infants," chief district officer Bijayraj Poudel told AFP.

Twelve others were taken to hospital but it is not known whether there were more passengers aboard, Poudel said.

Authorities said they were investigating the cause of the crash.

Deadly traffic accidents are relatively common in the impoverished Himalayan nation because of poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving.

At least 17 people, including seven children, died when a crowded bus swerved off the road and plunged into a river in central Nepal earlier this month.

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