Nepal bridge collapse: Toll mounts to 16, 36 still untraced

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Kathmandu, Dec 27: With the recovery of one more body yesterday, the death toll climbed to 16 in the fatal collapse of a suspension bridge over the Bheri River at Shuvaghat in Surkhet in Nepal on Tuesday, police said today.

Of the deceased, 13 people have been identified while the identities of three are yet to be ascertained. Thirty-six others are still missing, according to police. The body of the deceased, a woman, was recovered yesterday by a Nepal Army rescue team, Kantipur reported today. Nepal Army (NA)'s headquarters at mid-western region informed that five of seriously injured people, who were rescued from the river, were taken to Military Hospital at Chhauni of Kathmandu for treatment.

Regional Police Office, Nepalgunj, said relatives of the 36 still missing people have requested the police to help find their missing kin. Although a large number of security personnel have been deployed, the freezing water in the river has been posing a problem in rescue work.

The government has decided to form a high-level technical committee to probe the collapse of a suspension bridge that joins Mehelkuna and Dahachaur VDCs over the Bheri River.

In a statement issued today, the Home Ministry expressed deep sorrow over the incident and directed the Nepal Police, the Armed Police Force and the Nepali Army to continue their rescue efforts.

It also thanked the security forces, the Red Cross, local political parties, civil society and different organisations that contributed to the rescue and relief work.

The statement added that the authorities concerned have been directed to provide Rs 25,000 as immediate relief to the families of each of those killed in the incident and bear the costs of treatment of all the injured.


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