A passenger bus accident at Pinatapane Khola in Chhayanath Rara Municipality-7 of Mugu district's is estimated to have killed up to 20 persons.

The bus (Bhe 1 Kha 3167) was heading towards the Mugu district headquarters from Nepalgunj when it plunged off a road at around 1 pm today, the Province Police Office, Surkhet said. Thirty nine people were travelling in the bus at the time of the incident.

According to Province Police Chief, DIG Ganesh Bahadur Aier, preliminary reports put the number of dead in the accident at 20, however, the casualties might increase.

Twelve among the injured have been taken to Nepalgunj by a Summit Air plane for treatment while a Nepal Army helicopter has been dispatched towards Talcha airport of Mugu from Surkhet for the rescue of the remaining injured, Information Officer at the Province Police Office, Inspector Jeevan Lamichhane said.

Those with minor injuries are being treated at the Mugu District Hospital. Chief District Officer Rom Bahadur Mahat and the chiefs of the security bodies in the district are engaged in rescuing the injured passengers, it is stated.