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30 killed, 35 injured in Nepal bus accident

A bus packed with passengers riding both inside and on its roof veered off a mountain road in northwest Nepal on Tuesday, killing 30 people and injuring 35 others, officials said.

Government administrator Shiv Ram Gelal said the bus drove off the road near Ramche village and rolled about 500 feet down a slope.

Gelal said the bus was overcrowded because of a severe fuel shortage in the country that has limited transportation.

Police, soldiers and local villagers helped recover injured people and bodies from the wreckage.

Police were investigating the accident, which occurred about 50 miles northwest of the capital, Kathmandu.

Accidents in Nepal are generally caused by poorly maintained roads and vehicles.

The severe fuel shortage has forced people to travel on the roofs of buses, which generally is not allowed for safety reasons. It has become common to see bus roofs packed with people and police rarely stop them.

Ethnic protesters have blocked a key border point with India since September, which has prevented the import of fuel and other supplies.

Nepal normally gets all of its fuel from India.