CHITWAN, July 27: Eight persons were killed and 17 injured when the bus they were travelling in collided with a truck at Chumlingtar of Ichhakamana Rural Municipality along the Prithvi Highway in Chitwan and plunged some 70 meters into a gorge of the Trishuli River on Friday morning.
The ill-fated passenger bus (Na 6 Kha 2506) en route to Syangja from Kathmandu collided with the truck (Na 5 Pa 7409) head-on and fell into the gorge. The accident occurred at around 11:45 am.
While five of the passengers died on the spot, three died in the course of treatment. The deceased include five men, two women and a child, according to District Police Office (DPO), Chitwan. They have been identified as Arjun Neupane, 32, of Kalika Rural Municipality, Palpa; Sumit Shrestha, 27, of Bhanu Rural Municipality, Tanahun, Kamala Shrestha, 27, of Bhansar, Tanahun; Rabin Gurung, 30, of Kathmandu; and Baburam Tiwari, 40, of Keshavtar, Tanahun. The identities of three others including a child are yet to be ascertained.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and spokesperson of DPO Chitwan, Prabhu Dhakal informed that 10 of the injured are receiving treatment in Chitwan, five in Pokhara and one each in Dhading and Kathmandu. The condition of five of the injured from Chitwan and Dhading is said to be critical. The driver of the bus, fifty-one-year-old Udayaraj Lamichhane of Syangja too has sustained injuries in his right hand and is receiving treatment at the College of Medical Sciences, Bharatpur.
The bus had left for Kathmandu at around six in the morning. After a traffic congestion of three hours, the commuter bus reached to Chumlingtar around 12 pm. Driver Lamichhane says he slammed the brakes as soon as he saw a truck coming from the opposite direction. "I saw a truck and hit the brakes and then the bus skidded and I cannot remember anything after that," Lamichhane recalls.
Meanwhile, a person has died after the car he was travelling in plunged into the Trishui River near Gajuri Rural Municipality-6, along the Prithvi Highway on Friday afternoon. The deceased have been identified as fifty-one years old Madhukar Subedi of Baidam, Kaski. He was rescued by Nepal Army personnel and was admitted to Gajuri Hospital where he died in course of treatment.
The driver of the car Sanubabu Sunuwar and Shailendra Raut of Imadol, Lalitpur have sustained minor injuries. They managed to escape from the car and swim to safety. Police have attributed high speed for the accident.
The car (Ba 14 Cha 3758) was heading toward Pokhara from Kathmandu.