Eight people were killed in a jeep accident in Salyan on Tuesday night. The deceased are all residents of Jalbang in Kapurkot Rural Municipality-6, Salyan.
The jeep, with registration number Ra 1 Ja 563, met with an accident at around 1 AM Wednesday at Mulpani in Kapurkot-3 while it was heading to Jalbang from Dhakeri of Banke district.
Nine people were traveling in the jeep. Among them, only 35-year-old Tilak Oli survived the accident.
According to Tilak, who is undergoing treatment at Rapti Provincial Hospital in Tulsipur, Dang, all the deceased are from the same village. The deceased are Top Bahadur Oli, 45, and his 11-year-old son Basanta Oli, Lalit Oli, 40, Kumari Oli, 45, Dharma Oli, 45, Suresh KC, 27, and driver Jeet Bahadur Bohara, 22.
Another local Khumlal Oli, 70, also died in the accident, according to District Police Office Salyan.
Tilak told Setopati that the accident occurred after the driver fell asleep. “I found out only after the vehicle fell down,” he said. “All of us in the vehicle were asleep. Maybe the accident took place after the driver also fell asleep.”
Police also suspect the jeep could have met with the accident after the driver fell asleep at the wheel.
Tilak said they were returning home after attending a relative’s wedding in Dhakeri.
Ward chair of Kapurkot-6 Shyam Krishna Bohara said they met with the accident while returning home from the wedding of a relative’s daughter in Dhakeri.
He said the whole village is grief-stricken after the death of seven people from the village. According to Bohara, the deceased include a boy, his father and two uncles.
Tilak has suffered severe injuries to both his legs. “Both his legs have been fractured below the knee,” said a doctor involved in his treatment. “We have tried to stop the bleeding and referred him to Banke as treatment was not possible in Tulsipur.”
Tilak was referred to Banke at around 6:30 in the morning.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Damodar KC, chief of Salyan District Police, said it is difficult to say with certainty what caused the accident as the driver also died.
“The vehicle has fallen down nearly 200 meters from a very steep descent,” said DSP KC. “It is not easy to ascertain whether the driver’s falling asleep or a brake failure caused the accident.”
He said the bodies of all the deceased have been taken to the District Hospital in Salyan Khalanga for postmortem.
According to locals, the death toll increased as the accident took place at midnight and the police could not be informed on time.
The accident took place at around 1:30 AM, but police from Area Police Office Kapurkot reached the site only at around 4:30 AM after being informed by the locals.