KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A crowded bus veered off a mountain highway and into a river in eastern Nepal on Thursday, killing at least 35 people and leaving many more missing, police said.
Police and army rescuers were on the way to the scene of the accident to help villagers with the rescue operation, police official Rana Bahadur Basnet told The Associated Press.
He said rescuers were having a hard time reaching the wreckage, which was in the Sunkosi River near Jhagajholi village, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) east of Katmandu.
Initial reports from the scene said 35 bodies had been recovered, but a still unknown number of people were feared trapped in the wreckage or swept away in the river, Basnet said.
Buses in the country were more crowded than usual because of the end of two-week national festival that sees people return back to their jobs from their home villages.
The bus was traveling on the B.P. Koirala Highway, a narrow route with hairpin bends that in most parts is just wide enough for one vehicle to pass. The site of the accident is a four hour drive from the nearest city.
Bus accidents in the mountainous Himalayan nation are common and often blamed on poorly maintained vehicles and roads.
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