13 killed, dozens missing after bridge collapse in west Nepal

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December 25, 2007 16:44

 
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At least 13 people were killed and dozens - perhaps 100 or more - were feared missing after a footbridge collapsed over a river in western Nepal on Tuesday, officials said. Hundreds of people were walking on a suspension bridge over the Bheri River in Chunchu village, about 500 kilometers west of the capital of Katmandu, when it collapsed, according to Naresh Shakya, a police official. Initial reports said some people managed to swim to safety, but there could be many casualties, Shakya said, because the river has strong currents and is difficult to swim. Victims were likely to be anyone who cannot swim, especially young children and the elderly. Police official Dipendra Chetri, who assisted in the rescue, said 12 bodies were pulled out of the river, while 22 people who were seriously injured were taken to hospitals by helicopter and ambulance. One person died on the way to the hospital.

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