PALPA: Fourteen persons died on the spot when a jeep plunged into Kurung Khola in Deurali VDC-8, Jorte, in Palpa district on Friday night.
Thirteen persons of the same family and the jeep driver, an Indian national, died while two others were injured when the jeep with Indian number plate veered off the road and crashed about 50 metres below in the rivulet.
The accident occurred when the family of Dhana Bahadur Rana (65) of Thanapati VDC-5, Thorga of Gulmi, who had died in New Delhi six days ago, came to dispose his mortal remains in the Kali Gandaki River, at Ruru Kshetra, in Nepal.
The victims have been identified as Dhana Bahadur’s wife Khagisara (48), daughters Ganga (27), Faberi (18), Bhawana (15), Sabi (19), daughters-in-law Deepa (16), Sanu (18) Trishna (21), and son Nara Bahadur (20), sister-in-law Rata (30) and grandchildren nine-month-old Kaushila and three-year-old Layas. The driver has been identified as Ashok Kumar Tiwari (30) of New Delhi. Dhana Bahadur’s sons Satyendra (30) and Rilesh (10) have been injured. Both are undergoing treatment at Lumbini Medical College, Pravas. Hospital sources said though Satyendra has gained consciousness Rilesh is yet to come around.
Hailing from Thanapati VDC-5, Thorga, the Rana family had been living in New Delhi for 30 years. Police said the incident might have taken place at about 11:00 pm, minutes after one of the Ranas phoned the village saying they would arrive by midnight.
It is said the jeep lost control on the winding road. The incident was known only on Saturday morning when a local spotted a wrecked jeep in the rivulet while jogging.
A police team led by DSP Mira Chaudhary reached the incident site later and took the bodies out of the jeep with help from locals. The accident site is 19 km from district headquarters Tansen. Meanwhile, final rites of all the deceased were carried out at Ridi-based Kali Gandaki River on Saturday itself after the kin of the deceased received the bodies following post-mortem.
Anil Gauchan, an eyewitness recounts
PAPLA: I had set out from my home on a morning walk at about 6:30. When I returning, I saw someone waving his hand from the bank of the rivulet. A fat man was lying there. There was a white vehicle on the middle of the rivulet. I went down and called my friends for help. We pulled the injured out of the jeep and sent them to hospital in an ambulance. Later we pulled the others out of the jeep but they were dead.