14 killed in Nepal pilgrimage bus crash

KATHMANDU (AFP) – At least 14 people died after a bus carrying pilgrims veered off a highway and rolled down a steep slope in central Nepal yesterday, officials said, the latest deadly traffic accident in the Himalayan nation.

Police said the bus carrying 32 passengers plunged 70 metres onto a lower stretch of the winding road in Sindhupalchowk district, around 80 kilometres north-east of the capital Kathmandu.

“We have recovered the bodies of 12 passengers from the accident,” police officer Prajwal Maharjan told AFP, adding that two others had died in hospital.

Four of the dead were children, traffic police added.

Some 18 passengers who were injured were taken to hospital, with officials unclear if the bus driver was among them or had fled the scene of the crash.

Rescue workers and bystanders gather around the wreckage of a bus following an accident in Sindhupalchowk, some 80 kilometres north-east of the capital Kathmandu. PHOTO: AFP