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Bus plunges into river, killing at least 19 in Nepal

  • Story Highlights
  • Bus traveling to Kathmandu from Sindhupalchowk district carrying 30 to 35 people
  • Police: Was speeding when it tumbled about 30 meters into Bhote Koshi river
  • Old buses, crowding, poor road conditions often lead to accidents in Nepal
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KATHMANDU, Nepal (CNN) -- At least 19 people were killed when a bus plunged into a swollen river in central Nepal Thursday, police said.

The bus was traveling to Kathmandu from the Sindhupalchowk district. The toll rose from 11 to 19 when eight bodies were recovered from the wreckage after the bus was pulled from the river.

So far, 23 people have been accounted for, authorities said, four of them rescued alive. One of the four had to be hospitalized.

Police Officer Pramod Kharel said by telephone from Sindhupalchowk district that reports said there were between 30 and 35 people traveling in the bus.

The bus was speeding when it tumbled about 30 meters (98 feet) into the Bhote Koshi river, according to initial reports.

When a crane reached the crash site, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) east of Kathmandu, to pull out the bus only its wheels were visible, Kharel said.

Old buses, crowding, poor road conditions and reckless driving frequently lead to accidents in the mountains of Nepal.

-- Journalist Manesh Shrestha contributed to this report.

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