Whereabouts of missing in Trishuli bus plunge uncertain

Chitwan, August 28

With looming uncertainty on the total number that have gone missing in the bus accident that occurred in the Trishuli River in Chitwan on Friday, the kin of 13 missing persons have filed complaints seeking investigation at District Police Office, Chitwan.

Shambhu Prasad Yadav, 29, of Katahariya VDC-4, Dipendra Sah, 25, of Jhunkhunuwa-8, Ram Balak Prasad Jaisawal, 35, of Mutawaruwa-2, Mukesh Ram, 30, of Mutawaruwa and Rabi Ranjan Yadav, 30, of Mutawaruwa-3 have gone missing.

Similarly, the kin of Lalan Kumar Kalawar, 36, of Rajpur Fardawa-6, Bishwo Nath Sah, 28, of Khesharahiya-7, Punam Devi Sah of Chandranigahapur Municipality, Sanjay Kumar Sah, 28, of Garuda municipality-5 and Rajib Kumar Singh, 35, of Sudama-8, Sarlahi, have also filed complaints.

Likewise, the kin of Indian nationals Rakesh Kumar Gupta, 29, of Raxaul, Ram Prabesh Ray Yadav, 30, of Shyamapur Thana, Bihar; and Sanjay Kumar Chaudhary, 40, of Bihar have also filed the complaint with the police seeking help for finding the whereabouts of the missing.

There were 42 persons including the driver and helper on the bus according to the record. Generally, no ticket is booked for kids. A minor died while five others below 11 years have been injured.

It is roughly estimated that there should be 48 persons, including minors on board the bus. However, security personnel and the transportation management committee have claimed that there were 42 persons only.

Of them, 22 died, 16 others sustained injuries and are under medication, while four others have gone missing. The number reaches 51 while counting the 22 deceased, 16 injured and 13 missing.

Prithvi Highway Bus Entrepreneurs Committee Chairperson Ein Bahadur Shahi said they don’t book tickets for children and there is no insurance system for passengers more than the capacity of the bus.

Shahi said that the entrepreneurs’ record could not tell the exact number of passengers on board.

SP Basanta Bahadur Kunwar said as the committee staff don’t mention names, addresses and contact numbers very clearly while booking tickets, it was difficult to identify the number of passengers aboard the bus.

SP Kunwar said that his office had started searching for all the missing as per the complaint. He also pledged that action would be taken against those bus operators who do not maintain passengers’ details.

Injured bus helper Rajan Pandey, 20, of Gajuri-2, Dhading, said that the bus was not carrying passengers beyond its capacity. Pandey is receiving treatment at Chitwan Medical College.