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14 killed in Nepal bus plunge

At least 14 people have been killed when a passenger bus skidded off a mountain highway into a river in southern central Nepal.

world Updated: Jul 19, 2008 09:41 IST

At least 14 people were killed when a passenger bus skidded off a mountain highway into a river in southern central Nepal, police said on Saturday.

"We have recovered 12 bodies from the Trishuli river and two died while undergoing treatment at a hospital," police officer Rabindra Bahadur Singh told AFP from Chitwan district, 70 kilometres (44 miles) southwest of Kathmandu.

The bus carrying more than 50 passengers was en route for the southern town of Bhairahawa from Kathmandu when it plunged into the swelling Trishuli river at Chandi Bhanjyang village overnight.

Twenty-six people were rescued but police said the death toll could rise.

"Half of the bus is still submerged inside the river. There might be some more bodies stuck inside the bus," the police officer said.

Road accidents are common in Nepal and claim hundreds of lives every year. Most of the accidents in the impoverished Himalayan country are blamed on old vehicles, reckless driving and poorly maintained roads.

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