Seventeen Indian pilgrims were killed and 57 others injured when the bus carrying them plunged into a stream in Pyuthan district of mid-western Nepal on Monday evening.
Police say the victims, all belonging to Uttar Pradesh, were on their way back after visiting Swargadwari, a popular Hindu shrine in the district, when the driver lost control of the bus and fell into Madi Khola stream.
“Ten persons died on the spot, one died on way to hospital while the rest succumbed while undergoing treatment,” said an official at Nepal Police control room in Kathmandu.
The number of casualties is expected to rise as 19 victims admitted at a hospital in Butwal are stated be critical. All the other injured are receiving treatment at district hospital in Pyuthan.
All passengers in the bus with Nepal registration number except the driver and two others were from Gonda, Balrampur and Barhni in Uttar Pradesh.
Injured survivors told the police that the driver was talking on his mobile phone before the bus plunged nearly 75 metres down into the stream.