Two killed as falling rocks hit four highway vehicles

- Bimal Khatiwada, GHUMAUNE (CHITWAN)

Apr 4, 2017-

At least two persons were killed and as many injured when rocks fell from the hillside burying four vehicles at Ghumaune area along the Muglin-Narayangadh road section in Chitwan district on Monday. 

The incident took place at around 10:30am. 

A motorcycle, an oil tanker, a truck and a mini truck were hit by the falling rocks. 

Police have identified the deceased as motorcyclist Reshraj Rana of Sundar Bazaar in Lamjung district and Binaya Kumar Kairi of Betiya, India. Binaya was an assistant of the ill-fated oil tanker with the registration number Na 4 Kha 5419. Tanker driver Banu Patel of Lachhumuniya, Parsa has sustained injuries. He has his left leg fractured. 

Reshraj’s son Sandip, who was riding pillion on the bike, was also injured in the incident. The injured are receiving treatment in Bharatpur. 

Staff of other vehicles and passengers had rescued the injured.

It took a while for security personnel to reach the incident site due to heavy traffic jam along the road section. The 36km Muglin-Narayangadh road is one of the busiest sections and traffic jams have become the order of the day here due to the ongoing road-widening drive. Vehicles to and from the Capital were stuck in the jam along the road stretch since early morning on Monday. As expansion work is underway, vehicular movement along the road stretch is stopped for six hours every day from 10am to 4pm, which also results in massive traffic congestion. 

Road expansion work along this stretch is underway for the past two years. According to Shiva Khanal, an engineer for the road-widening project, only 44 percent of the expansion work has been completed so far. According to the contract, which was extended a few months ago, the expansion work should be completed by December 21. 

The project employees said the rocks are quite hard in the area where the incident took place. “We started cutting rocks here one year ago and the work is still going on,” said engineer Khanal.

It is believed that the earthquake two years ago could have loosened the soil here and ongoing works could have resulted in dry landslide.

 

A driver recounts close shave

CHITWAN: Suresh Shrestha was behind the wheel of his microbus (Na 2 Kha 9837) waiting for traffic to move when rocks started falling from the hillside at Ghumaune along the Muglin-Narayangadh road section. He was heading to Kurintar from Narayangadh. Seventeen passengers were on board his microbus. “Vehicles were moving at snail’s pace,” he recalled. “I suddenly heard a big noise and in no moment I could see rocks falling on a truck. The driver was trying to jump off the vehicle. The rear part of the truck had already been buried under boulders,” he recalled. “It was a close shave for us. We survived by two seconds,” Shrestha said of the incident, describing it as one of the terrible accidents he has seen along highways. (PR)

Published: 04-04-2017 07:41

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