DANG, Dec 22: The death toll in the Dang bus mishap has reached 22 as one more injured breathed his last while undergoing treatment. The identities of the five among those killed have been established, DSP Prem Bahadur Sahi, chief of Area Police Office, Tulsipur, Republica Online.
The deceased have been identified as Padam KC, 32 of Ghorahi Sub Metropolitan City-3, Pradeep Ghimire of Ghorahi-17, Sanjit Ratgainya, 30 of Dangisharan rural municipality-1, Naresh Oli, 28, of Rukum Bhume rural municipality and Bijaya GM, 17, of Ghorahi-14.
As many as 21 students and teachers had died on the spot and one more passenger succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment.
The ill-fated bus (Ba 4 Kha 9766) was on its way back to Dang with students and teachers from Martyr Krishna Sen Ichchhuk Polytechnic Institute when it skidded off and plunged some 600 meters down into a gorge . They were headed home from an educational trip to Mulpani Botanical Park at Kapurkot, Salyan.
According to Tulsipur Police Office chief DSP Prem Bahadur Shahi, the deceased included at least three females.
“We have been able to rescue 13 persons so far,” Shahi told Republica on Friday evening, “We think there were 30 to 35 people on board when the accident took place.” He added that the 13 who were rescued from the site have been sent to Rapti Zonal Hospital, Tulsipur for treatment.
Police have not yet been able to ascertain the cause of the accident.
The accident comes at a time when road accidents have spiked across the nation. Last Friday, 20 passengers died when an overcrowded mini-truck fell 300 meters from the road at Dupcheshwar Rural Municipality-7, of Nuwakot. Serious concern has been raised about lack of road safety in Nepal.