Passenger van crash in south Nepal kills 12, injures 21 more

KATHMANDU, NEPAL (AP) — A crowded passenger van crashed into a parked truck on a highway in southern Nepal around midnight, killing 12 people and injuring 21 others, officials said yesterday.

Two of the injured are in critical condition while the rest are in stable condition, Bheri Hospital official Sanket Risal said.

Police were investigating the crash, but local news reports said the van was speeding on the highway that passes through jungle near Rapti Sonari village, about 400 kilometres southwest of the capital, Kathmandu.

Nepal’s coronavirus lockdown in place since March requires vehicles to obtain a permit to operate on roads.

It wasn’t clear if the van had such a permit. Drivers have been known to use their vehicles at night to avoid getting stopped by the police. Nepal has 1,572 COVID-19 cases and eight deaths.

Highway crashes in Nepal are mostly blamed on poorly maintained roads and vehicles.