Nepal Bridge Fails; 200 Missing

15 bodies recovered after suspension span collapses
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 25, 2007 1:04 PM CST
Relatives and rescuers try to recover bodies from the river as a foot bridge over the River Bheri collapses in Chunchu village, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) west of Katmandu, Nepal, Tuesday, Dec,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Nepalese rescuers were searching into the night for about 200 people who plummeted into a swirling river when a suspension bridge collapsed. Another 15 bodies have been recovered, and 32 were taken to nearby hospitals. Up to 1,000 Hindu pilgrims were on the bridge when it failed in a remote part of Nepal. Most swam to safety after the 100-foot plunge.

"The bridge collapsed because there were hundreds of people on it," said a Nepalese police officer. Between 700 and 1,000 pilgrims were crossing the 360-foot-long bridge over the Bheri River, 280 miles southwest of Kathmandu, from one religious site to another on the last day of a three-day festival.