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33 killed, 28 injured as crowded bus veers off road in Nepal

33 killed, 28 injured as crowded bus veers off road in Nepal

KATHMANDU, Aug 16 (Agencies): A bus filled with people traveling to their home villages in Nepal to receive the first government payments for victims of last year’s devastating earthquake slipped off a narrow mountain road, killing at least 33 people and injuring 28 others.

The bus was heading to Kartike Deurali village, among the worst hit by the quake, which killed nearly 9,000 people in the country. The road — little more than a trail — was only wide enough for one vehicle to pass at a time and was slippery because of continuous rain.

The country’s Home Ministry official Chiranjivi Nepal said 33 people were killed, but victims and relatives said many more may have died because the wreckage was scattered along the slope below the road and some areas were inaccessible.

"The bus stalled while climbing the hill and the driver tried to restart it, but the vehicle rolled backward and then slipped off the road," passenger Kopila Gautam said from a bed at the National Trauma Center in Kathmandu.

Gautam said about 85 passengers were riding inside the bus and on its roof. It was also packed with bags of rice, lentils, flour and other supplies being taken to villages. Gautam was sitting on a sack of rice because there were no seats available.

The accident occurred near Khare Khola, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) east of the capital. Officials said the bus plunged off the road and rolled about 150 meters (500 feet).

Army and police personnel were searching the area for bodies.

 

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