Bus mishap survivors recall tragedy

Jagadish Bhattarai

Palpa, May 4:

Most of the survivors of Palpa’s bus accident are still in a state of mental shock. They have been experiencing nightmares and blabbering in hospital beds. Raju Gurung, 35, of Bayarghari, Syangja, and a survivor said, “I am having nightmares and feel like screaming all the time.” Gurung, who suffers from injuries in almost every part of his body, was heading home in Bayarghari to attend a religious ceremony with two of his relatives. Recalling the day, Gurung said, “I was asleep when the bus rolled over the gorge. I fell out of the window following a turn while the bus continued its slide. I was unconscious but remember someone pulling me out.”

Saraswati Basyal, 31, of Madan Pokhara-6, Palpa, had a similar experience to share.

“The bus was speeding and I heard the driver saying it’s gone. I don’t know what happened next,” she said. Another survivor Kulananda Gaire of Thum Pokhara, Syangja, said, “The driver seemed a little weird. He was not stopping the bus even on passengers’ request.”

Thirty-year-old Bhagawati Pandey of Tansen municipality-9, said the accident had left her disabled not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. “I still shudder at the memory of that day,” she said.

The ill-fated bus fell into a gorge at Dhaireni of Palpa district on Saturday claiming 32 passengers and injuring 33. Most of the deceased have been identified while the 19 who were injured in the accident are undergoing treatment at the Palpa Mission Hospital.

Hospital authorities said they were in a stable condition and would be handed over to

relatives after treatment in a few more days.