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Bus crash in Nepal kills up to 45: police

Twenty-five pilgrims have been killed and around 20 more are missing presumed dead in a bus crash in Nepal.

world Updated: May 20, 2008 11:29 IST

Twenty-five pilgrims have been killed in a bus crash in Nepal and around 20 more are missing presumed dead, police said on Tuesday.

The overcrowded bus skidded off a mountain road and plunged into a fast-flowing river on Monday.

"Eight more bodies were pulled from the river on Tuesday morning," said a police official in Dang district, 280 kilometres (175 miles) west of Kathmandu.

"The confirmed death toll is now 25, and 34 people are undergoing treatment at various hospitals."

Police said that the bus was carrying around 100 passengers when it sped off the road and plunged 100 metres (yards) into the Rapti river.

"Most of those on the bus were pilgrims heading to a Buddhist festival," local media said.

"We fear there are about 20 bodies in the submerged bus," Tej Prasad Poudel, a senior local official told AFP.

Hundreds of people are killed annually in road accidents in the impoverished Himalayan nation, where old, overcrowded and badly maintained vehicles ply dangerous mountain roads.