At least 39 pilgrims, mostly Indians, were killed on Sunday when an overcrowded bus skidded off a slippery road and plunged into a flooded canal in southern Nepal.
The bus was carrying 100 to 120 Hindu pilgrims, mostly from Uttar Pradesh, to a temple in Nawalparasi district, 150 kilometres west of the capital Kathmandu, police officials in Nawalparasi district.
The accident site -- Gandak Canal -- is located some 250 km south west of Kathmandu.
A team from the Indian embassy in Kathmandu, with doctor and an official from the Consulate General of India, Birgunj, were dispatched to the site of the accident near the Indo-Nepal border.
The Indian embassy in Kathmandu also set up a control room to provide information about Indian nationals involved in bus accident.
The ill-fated bus veered off a rain-slicked highway and fell into the flooded irrigation canal, police said. Most of the passengers were Indian nationals who were going to attend the Bolbam festival in Tribenighat, they said, adding the death toll may go up.
Among the 39 people killed were 10 women and a girl child, they said. Most of those killed were Indians. Ten Indians were also injured, police said.
The deceased were yet to be identified. The bus was overloaded, which might be the main reason of the accident, police said. Some of passengers were travelling on the roof of the vehicle.
Rescue work was being carried out by the police and Nepal army with the help of local people. Information about the Indians involved in the accident can be obtained on the Indian embassy control room number +97714412135.