International desk – At least 33 people were killed after a passenger bus skidded off the road and plunged down a hill in Nepal’s Kavrepalanchok district, authorities said on Tuesday.
Thirty-eight passengers were injured, Chief District Officer Bal Krishna Panthi told a broadcaster.
They were airlifted to Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, 70 kilometers (44 miles) away, by an army team, Deputy Chief District Officer Bhim Kanta Sharma said.
Twenty-seven bodies have been identified, and search operations have ended because rescuers think all the victims have been found.
“Bodies are scattered all over the sloppy hill, so security personnel are having difficulties collecting bodies and rescuing the victims,” Sharma said.
The bus fell more than 300 meters (about 985 feet) down the hill.
“It is a narrow, gravel road,” Panthi was quoted to have said by CNN. “We are looking into the possibility of overcrowding of the bus being the cause of accident. We can come to a final conclusion only after the investigation is over.”
In another accident Monday in western Nepal, three people died and 30 were injured when a bus slipped off the road and plunged 200 meters down a slope, Nepal Home Ministry representative Yadav Koirala said.
Bus crashes are generally blamed on poorly maintained roads and vehicles in Nepal. Most of the crashes happen during the rainy season that begins in June and ends in September.