At least 18 die in bus accident in Southwestern Nepal

KATHMANDU, Xinhua — At least 18 people died and 13 injured after a passenger bus plunged 400 meter below the road in southwestern Nepal, a senior government official said.

The accident happened in Narapani area of Sandhikharka Municipality of the southwestern Arghakhanchi district.

Seventeen people died at the scene and one died in hospital, Chief District Officer of Arghakhanchi Bijaya Raj Poudel told Xinhua on Wednesday evening via phone.

“I have been informed about a few more deaths but I cannot confirm now,” Poudel, who is in-charge of the district administration, said.

He said the injured people were taken to hospital at nearby Butwal town.

According to the local administration, the accident took place at around 3:25 p.m. local time at the topsy-turvy location of the road. The local administration could not confirm how many passengers were aboard the ill-fated bus.

Nepal has seen a heavy rise in vehicle accidents in recent years. According to Traffic Police Office of Nepal, the Himalayan country witnessed a total of 8,918 vehicle accidents killing 254 people in the last fiscal year 2018-2019 that ended in mid-July, a sharp rise from 6,381 accidents in the previous fiscal year.

During the first four month of the current fiscal year 2019-2020, Nepal has witnessed 4,171 accidents that killed 69 people, according to the Traffic Police Statistics.

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