HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
PARASI: As many as 39 people were and 10 injured when a commuter bus ferrying Bol Bam pilgrims veered off the road and plunged into Gandak Canal at Nawalparasi's Triveni today. Dozens of passengers are still missing in the canal.
District Police Office Nawalparasi said bodies of 36 Indians and three Nepalis were fished out of the canal after the bus bound for Trivenidham from Jholanipur of Guthisuryapura VDC met with an accident at Triveni. Of the killed, 10 are females, 28 males and one child. SP Gyan Bikram Shah said 37 bodies had been identified.
Of the missing, 27 have been rescued. Those injured are the locals of Maharajgunj in Uttar Pradesh and are out of danger. Of them, five are undergoing treatment at headquarters Parasi-based Prithivichandra Hospital while five others are being treated at Sahid Memorial Community Hospital.
A source said the ill-fated bus skidded off the road and fell into the canal after it got stuck in the mud while trying to give side to a truck and tractors coming from the opposite direction. Police suspect the bus was carrying passengers beyond its capacity. Those who swam to safety, however, alleged that driver was driving under the influence. According to eyewitnesses, the driver too swam to safety and fled the scene. Nepal Police, Nepali Army personnel and locals carried out the rescue operation. SP Shah and CDO Bir Bahadur Rai visited the site.
Pilgrims from India's Maharajgunj had come to Triveni to collect water to offer it at India's Itaiya temple.