Asia

Nepal search finds 47 dead after bus crashes into river

Map of Jajarkot region in Nepal

Nepalese authorities have found 47 bodies after a bus crashed into a river in the western region of the country.

The bus veered off a mountain road in the Jajarkot region on Thursday when it swerved to avoid a tractor, plunging into the fast-flowing Bheri river about 400km west of the capital, Kathmandu.

Efforts to reach the bus and rescue survivors were hampered by the remote location and the strong current.

Ten people were able to swim to safety, and were later sent to the hospital.

Authorities are still trying to confirm the number of people who were on the bus, which set out with 45 passengers but picked up more along the way.

Rescuers took hours to get to the site, and divers had to plunge into freezing waters to locate the submerged bus.

Army and police officers also scoured the banks of the river.

Accidents are common in Nepal's mountainous regions largely because of poor road conditions, badly maintained vehicles, reckless driving and overloading.

At least 10 people including a Russian woman died earlier this month when two buses collided along a national highway in central Nepal, reports AFP news agency.

In October, an overloaded bus in the west of the country plunged off a road into a gorge, killing at least 29 people. Most of the passengers were travelling to meet their families to celebrate the Hindu Dashain festival.

That same month, a crowded bus fell down a hill in a town outside Kathmandu, killing at least 14 people including two Israelis.

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