16 Jul 2012

Pilgrims killed in bus crash

3:50 pm on 16 July 2012

At least 39 people have been killed in a bus crash in southern Nepal.

Most of the dead were Hindu pilgrims from northern India travelling to an annual religious festival at Triveni on Monday morning.

The bus apparently skidded in the wet and plunged off the road into an irrigation canal near the town of Parasi, 150km south-west of Kathmandu.

Police say it was so crowded that people were riding on the roof. Buses are often overcrowded in Nepal and accidents on mountain roads are common.

Officials say water levels in the canal were high as a result of monsoon rains.

Last October, at least 41 people were killed when a bus swerved off a mountain road and went into a river 400 metres below in eastern Nepal.