At least 11 passengers died and dozens more are feared to have perished as an overcrowded bus plunged into a river in northern Nepal on Thursday.
Police in Sundhupalchowk district said the accident occurred in a village called Sukute while the bus was heading towards Kathmandu.
Carrying about 50 passengers, the vehicle veered off the mountain road and fell almost 30m below into the swirling Sunkoshi river fed with heavy rain in the past few days.
By the afternoon, police and locals had succeeded in rescuing four people from the river while 11 bodies had been found.
Only four of the victims had been identified so far, police said. The toll, it is feared, would rise as dozens of passengers are still missing.
The remoteness of the village as well as the strength of the river current had made rescue work difficult and hazardous, police said. Nepal has one of the highest rates of road accidents in the world with bad roads, old vehicles and reckless drivers contributing to it.
Most public buses are overcrowded defying safety regulations with people crammed on the roof during the eve of festivals and drivers are overworked, driving while under the influence of alcohol or falling asleep while behind the wheel.