17 Gujarati pilgrims killed as bus plunges into gorge in Dhading


DHADING, APR 23: At least 17 Indian pilgrims, including eight women, were killed and 28 others injured when a bus carrying them plunged some 100 metres down a deep gorge at Jhyaple Khola on Nagdhunga-Naubise road section along the Prithvi Highway in Dhading district today.

All the victims are from Dhrangdhra town of Surendranagar district, Gujarat. According to police, 45 persons were on board the bus operated by Shri Hari Tours & Travels, Gujarat, en route to Gorakhpur following pilgrimage in the Pashupatinath Temple when it met with accident at around 6.50am. As many as 14 persons died on the spot. The incident site is around three kilometres from Nagdhunga.A search and rescue team of Nepali Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force with ambulances reached the incident site after receiving information from locals and a bus driver. More than 200 security personnel were mobilised for rescue and search operation. Citing preliminary investigation, police officials said the bus driver lost control over the vehicle while descending the road.The ill-fated bus rolled down into the gorge and turned turtle. Most of the victims are close relatives of each other.

According to the APF, it pulled 31 persons alive from the mangled remains of the bus and rushed them to hospitals in the capital. Of them, three died while undergoing treatment at Om Samaj Hospital, Dhungeadda, Shiva Jyoti Hospital, Balambu, and Shahid Memorial Hospital, Kalanki.

Of the 28 injured, including 14 women, four are receiving treatment at Megha Hospital, eight at Shiva Jyoti Hospital, two at Shahid Memorial Hospital, four at Dirghayu Hospital, one at Vayodha Hospital, two at Norvic International Hospital and seven at TU Teaching Hospital. Many of them have been treated for fractured limbs, broken ribs and internal injuries.

Ranjit Rae, Ambassador of India to Nepal, visited the hospitals where the injured are being treated.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meanwhile, tweeted: “Very saddening news from Nepal. My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives in the bus accident at Naubise. A team from our Embassy in Nepal reached the spot within an hour of the accident to oversee rescue & relief operations. Embassy officials are present at every hospital where the injured are being treated & Embassy is taking care of the treatment.”