At least 39 pilgrims, most of them Indians, have been killed when the bus carrying them plunged into a flooded river canal in Nawalparasi district of Nepal close to the Indo-Nepal border on Sunday.
The accident took place at 1:00 pm when the bus carrying pilgrims, most from Maharajganj in Uttar Pradesh, fell into the Gandak canal nearly 150 km west of Kathmandu.
Police say the bus was carrying anywhere between 70-80 passengers to a popular Hindu temple of Lord Shiva at Triveni. Overcrowding and driver’s negligence are believed have caused the accident.
“The bodies recovered from the site include 10 women, one girl child and 28 men. We have not been able to verify their identities, but all of the 10 injured are Indians,” said an official at Nawalparasi district police office.
The injured have been shifted to two hospitals within the district and rescue and relief efforts are underway. The death toll is expected to rise as over two dozen passengers are still missing.
A press release issued by the Indian Embassy stated that 36 of the 39 victims are reported to be Indians. Names of the injured Indians are as follows:
1. Sobha Ram Bharti, M, 35
2. Manori Chamar, M, 35
3. Jitender Chamar, M, 20
4. Grijesh Kushwaha, M, 17
5. Satrughan Kushwaha, M, 17
6. Binod Chaudhury, M, 15
7. Dharam Devi Bharti, F, 20
8. Ranjeet Bharti, M, 25
9. Pooja Marada, F, 25
10. Noor Mohammad, M, 20
The embassy has sent a special team including doctors to the accident site to assist the local authorities in rescue operations. Authorities from border Indian districts including a Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB) contingent also reached the spot. Phone numbers of information centre at Indian Embassy.
00-977-1-4412125 and 00-977-1-4411699 extn. 4109.