DINESH KUMAR SHRESTHA
JAJARKOT: At least three persons were killed and 40 went missing when a bus en route to Surkhet from Jajarkot plunged into the Bheri River at Bhutchaur in Jajarkot this morning.
The ill-fated bus belonging to Mid-western Transport left Jajarkot headquarters Khalanga for Rakam in Surkhet at 6:45am. It fell off the road while trying to give side to a tractor coming from the opposite direction. Witnesses told police that the bus met with accident due to rash driving.
Driver of the bus, Laxmi Chaudhary of Magaragadhi, Bardiya, is among the 40 missing. More than 15 persons from Dandagaun VDC alone have gone missing. A joint team of Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and the Nepali Army reached the accident site soon after the accident. Though a Nepali Army chopper was also used in the search, only three bodies could be recovered.
According to Jajarkot DSP Dinesh Raj Mainali, bodies of Gita Sunar, 43, of Khalanga, Aayash Malla, 3, son of Ujjwal Malla of Thimi and an unidentified four-year-old girl were recovered during the search.
Ten persons, who swam to safety, did suffer injuries. Two of them are undergoing treatment at Nepalgunj-based Bheri Zonal Hospital, while others have been receiving treatment at Surkhet-based Regional Hospital.
Search for the missing will continue tomorrow morning.