Dadeldhura Bus Accident: Survivors Speak

DHANGADHI: Victims who were injured in the Dadeldhura bus accident share their experiences on how the bus swerved off the road.

The Peace Zone Academy bus (Se 1 Ka 293) -- which was ferrying a group of revellers returning to Doti after observing a carnival at Dadeldhura’s Ugratara Temple -- had fallen off the road at Amargadhi Municipality in Dadeldhura leading to a high number of casualties.

When the incident occurred, the bus was being driven by Lok Bahadur Mahara who had started the job only two weeks back. Prior to him, Khadak Balayar used to drive the school bus.

Sixteen-year-old assistant of the driver, Mahadev Rawat, was standing at the door of the bus when it started falling off the KI Singh Highway. "Suddenly when the bus started to fall, I jumped off," said Rawat, who is currently receiving treatment at Seti Zonal Hospital in Dhangadhi. Rawat has sustained serious injuries on his right shoulder and waist among other places.

Krishna Bista, a local of Gopghat, Shikhar Municipality-10 in Doti said, "When the previous driver stopped driving, even students were scared to get on the bus. Though brake fail has been cited as the cause of the accident, over-crowding and the new driver could have been the reasons behind the incident."

Seven of the injured were referred to Seti Zonal Hospital and five to Maya Metro Hospital in Dhangadhi after their treatment could not be carried out at the regional hospital in Dadeldhura.

According to injured Dammari Saki (19) of Ganyapdhura Rural Municipality-3 in Dadeldhura, who is receiving treatment at Maya Metro Hospital, the bus was not in balance even prior to the accident. "It was swerving right and left while on the road. The head sir (referring to the school's principal) told the driver to stop the bus, but it was too late. It plunged and the driver jumped off."

Saki shared, principal of the school Bhim Balayar was in the bus along with his wife and daughter; they too have sustained injuries.

Likewise, Binod Kimadi of Shikhar Municipality-11 in Doti district had a similar story to tell. He said, the bus plunged into the river while principal Balayar was trying to stop the bus. Kimadi has sustained injuries on his waist, hand and head. He further shared that he had gone to attend the festival on a different vehicle but while returning back he happened to travel on the ill-fated bus.

Eighteen persons were killed and over 25 were injured in the bus accident, on Thursday evening.