Many killed in Nepal pilgrimage bus crash

Pilgrims were returning home after visiting the Hindu Kalinchowk Bhagwati temple northeast of Kathmandu.

    The bus veered off a highway and rolled down a steep slope in the latest deadly traffic accident in Nepal [Pralhad Ghimire/AFP]
    The bus veered off a highway and rolled down a steep slope in the latest deadly traffic accident in Nepal [Pralhad Ghimire/AFP]

    A bus carrying Hindu pilgrims veered off a highway and crashed in Nepal, killing at least 14 people and injuring 18, police have said.

    The bus carrying 32 passengers plunged 70 metres (230 feet) onto a lower stretch of the winding road in Sindhupalchowk district on Sunday, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) northeast of the capital Kathmandu.

    The passengers were returning from a pilgrimage to Kalinchowk Bhagawati, a popular Hindu temple located at a heigh of almost 4,000 metres in the hills of Nepal's Dolakha district.

    191104035946706

    "We have recovered the bodies of 12 passengers from the accident," police officer Prajwal Maharjan told AFP news agency, adding that two others died in hospital.

    Four of the dead were children, the police added.

    Some 18 passengers who were injured have been taken to hospital, with officials unclear if the bus driver was among them or had fled the scene of the crash.

    The cause of the accident was not yet known, but police said reckless driving down the steep and winding road could have been a key factor.

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

    At least 18 passengers were killed when a bus plunged into a gorge in central Nepal last month.

    SOURCE: News agencies