Nepal bus crash kills 17 Indian pilgrims: police

Nepal bus crash kills 17 Indian pilgrims: police

More than two dozen injured have been taken to Kathmandu for treatment, four of whom are said to be in a critical condition.



By (AFP/IANS/PTI)

Published: Wed 22 Apr 2015, 2:14 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 8:40 PM

Kathmandu — Seventeen Indian pilgrims were killed when a bus swerved off a highway in central Nepal on Wednesday and plunged 300 metres (985 feet) down a mountain, police said.

The bus was heading to the Indian town of Gorakhpur returning from a pilgrimage to a temple in Kathmandu, when the accident happened.

“Twelve Indian passengers were killed on the spot. Five others died during treatment,” Hemant Bahadur Chettri, a local police official, told AFP.

More than two dozen injured have been taken to Kathmandu for treatment, four of whom are said to be in a critical condition.

“Many families have reached out to us. Two helplines have been put in place for anyone who needs to contact us,” Abhay Kumar, an official from the Indian Embassy in Nepal, told AFP.

Kumar said most of the passengers came from the western state of Gujarat.

Deadly crashes are relatively common in the impoverished Himalayan nation because of poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving.

Four South Korean tourists were killed on the same highway last month when their minibus collided with an oncoming bus. 

Modi condoles deaths in Nepal accident

New Delhi - India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday condoled the death of 17 Indian pilgrims in Nepal.

'Very sad news from Nepal. My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives in the bus accident,' Modi said in a statement here.

He said a team from the Indian embassy in Kathmandu reached the spot within an hour of the accident to oversee rescue and relief work. He added that the embassy was taking care of their treatment.

The accident took place at 6.40 am when the bus carrying dozens of Indian pilgrims skidded off a highway and rolled down some 200 metres into Jhyapre river in Dhading district, about 50 km west of Kathmandu.

India sends plane to airlift Nepal accident victims remains     

Indian government on Wednesday sent an IL 76 aircraft to Kathmandu to bring back mortal remains of the 17 Indian pilgrims who were killed in a bus accident in Nepal.

The plane will reach Kathmandu tonight. However, the bodies and 28 people injured in the incident will be air-lifted on Thursday after completion of formalities.

“India sends IL 76 aircraft to bring back mortal remains of victims of tragic bus accident in Nepal. Aircraft to reach Kathmandu tonight,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

He said that on account of more time for formalities relating the tragic bus accident, IAF has informed that the victims’ mortal remains and injured will be brought back on Thursday.

At least 17 Indian pilgrims including nine women were killed and 28 others injured when a bus carrying them from Gujarat plunged some 100 metres from a mountain highway in Nepal.

The ill-fated bus with Indian number plate, carrying around 45 pilgrims, veered off the Prithvi highway in Dhading district, some 75-km east of Kathmandu.



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