kintang.jpg
Photograph: Google maps

A passenger bus carrying people from a small town in northern Nepal crashed on a narrow mountain road on Tuesday, killing 18 people and injuring 13 others, local authorities said.

The bus was heading to Kintang, a remote hamlet up in Nepal's rugged hills from Dhadingbeshi, the main settlement in Dhading district.

"Seventeen people were killed on the spot. Another person died in hospital," said Bishwa Prakash Subedi, chief district officer of Dhading.

Subedi said two helicopters airlifted another 13 injured passengers to a hospital in Kathmandu. The dead included 13 men and five women.

The overcrowded bus travelling on a dirt road damaged in monsoon rains slipped off the road and plunged into a riverbank, Subedi said.

"The accident occurred at around 11 am local time. The bus fell some 300 metres down the road and landed on a riverbank," he said adding that the driver was killed in the accident.

He said the exact number of passengers could not be determined as the operators could have allowed more travellers to board the bus on its way up the mountain.

The latest accident occurred even as a search-and-rescue operation was ongoing after a car crashed on Sunday, killing three people, with a former minister still missing in the swollen Trishuli river in south-central Nepal.

Around 200 security force personnel have been searching for Madhav Prasad Ghimire and his two brothers, using rafts and boats on the river, according to Deepak Shrestha, a senior police officer.

In the last three months, approximately 100 people have been killed in road accidents across Nepal.

Poorly maintained vehicles, coupled with reckless driving and bad roads, lead to a number of fatal road accidents in Nepal every year. 

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