Children injured in Friday’s bus accident in Sindhupalchowk being treated at Dhulikhel Hospital. At least 11 people including the driver died and 99 injured when the overloaded bus fell off a dirt road at Pikumod at Badahare of the district. Photo: Dhruba Dangal/Republica
SINDHUPALCHOWK/KATHMANDU, Oct 12: When he could finally squeeze himself among the other passengers on the roof of the bus Friday, Chhabilal Bhattarai of Sipatar, Sindhupalchowk heaved a sigh of relief. It was the only bus to Kathmandu he could catch from his village. After a few hours he would be at his destination and would forget about the exhaustion of the journey, he thought. But the overloaded bus (Ba 2 Kha 2715) that left Siputar at 8.30 am fell some 200 meters from the road at Bhotshipa around 11 am.
Bhattarai was able to jump off the bus, and he saw many others doing likewise. Police have not ascertained how many passengers were in the bus but they have confirmed that 11 people have died. Another 90 including Bhattarai were injured.
“He was lucky he was on the roof and could jump-off,” said Bhattarai’s wife Apsara who was spotted outside the emergency ward of the Trauma Center in the capital Friday afternoon. “There is only one bus to Kathmandu per day and people have no choice but to take it no matter how overloaded it is,” she added.
Man Kumari Lama, a teenager from Sindhupalchowk who was also among the injured stated that the bus driver lost control around a sharp bend. She said she is afraid to use such hopelessly overloaded buses but she also has no choice. “From our place, it is hard to find a vehicle going to Kathmandu that is not overloaded,” she said. “You just have to trust your luck,” she said with a faint voice.
Fifteen of the injured are receiving treatment at the Trauma Center. Among the injured, 67 were taken to Dhulikhel Hospital and 15 to Scheer Memorial Hospital in Banepa.
“They said 30 injured are being brought here but double the number came. The number is 67,” said the emergency and trauma expert of the hospital, Dr Sanu Kumar Shrestha.
According to Bishwaraj Pokharel, a spokesperson for Nepal Police, five persons died right on the spot, another died while being taken to hospital and five others died while undergoing treatment. “So far, 11 have died. As per our records, 99 were injured. It is learnt that 109 people were on board, but we have yet to confirm that,” he said.
Most of the passengers in the bus were coming back to the capital after celebrating Dashain in their home villages and towns.
The wreckage of the bus that fell from 200 meters from the road at Badahare of Sindhupalchowk on Friday killing 11 people and injuring 99 others.