At least 16 killed, scores injured as two trains collide in Bangladesh

  • Brahmanbaria Correspondent,
    Published: 2019-11-12 08:36:30 BdST


At least 16 people have died after two trains collided in Brahmanbaria’s Kasba Upazila in an accident that prompted Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to call on the government agencies to be vigilant to avoid recurrence of such calamity.

Chattogram-bound Udayan Express from Sylhet and Dhaka-bound Turna Nishitha from Chattogram collided at Mondobagh Railway Station in the wee hours of Tuesday, said Shyamal Kanti Das, chief of Akhaura Railway Police.

Ten people died on the spot around 3:30am while six others met their end in different hospitals, according to Deputy Commissioner Hayat-ud-Daula Khan.

The accident left more than 50 people injured.

The calamity snapped Dhaka's rail links with Chattogram and Sylhet for eight hours before two relief trains from Laksam and Akhaura cleared the tracks.

"We believe that the accident occurred due to the negligence of Turna Nishitha’s driver,” said Additional Director General of Railways Mia Jahan.

The two trains were crossing in Mondobagh, said Mia Jahan. Udayan Express was entering the loop line from the main line after receiving the signal.

"After nine carriages of the train crossed over into the loop line, Turna Nishitha hit the 10th bogey. We have initially learnt that the incident took place because of the loco master’s disregard for the signal.”

Hasina told a programme in Dhaka: “It’s a huge tragedy. We should alert the people who are deputed to the railways to prevent a repeat of the incident.”

She emphasised proper training for the rail workers and drivers to stop such accidents.

“We are attaching importance to this issue as the railway is the safest way for transportation of people and goods as well. So we are expanding the railways,” the prime minister said.

After the collision, several bogeys of Turna found their way to the top of some Udayan’s carriages. Two other coaches were severely twisted.

The Fire Service and Civil Defence rescuers fear that there might be more bodies trapped inside the bogeys.

Soon after the accident, the railway authorities started a rescue operation with the help of the locals. Later, they were joined by three units of the fire service and policemen.

Habiganj district has suffered most of the fatalities -eight. Chandpur and Shariatpur have three each while Moulvibazar and Noakhali districts have one each.

Those from Habiganj are Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal’s district unit Vice-President Ali Md Yusuf, 32, of Anwarpur, Al Amin, 30, of Baniachong, Adiba Akter, 2, of Tambulitula Moholla, Yasin Arafat, 12, of Sadar Upazila, Government Brindaban College student Sujon Ahmed, 24, of Chunarughat, Ripon Mia, 25, of Tighuria Syedabad, Pyara Begum, 32, of Chunarughat, and 4-year-old “Sohamoni” of Baniachong.

Mujibur Rahman, 55, and his wife “Kulsum”, 30, from Chandpur’s Hajiganj Upazila and a 15-year-old girl, “Farzana”, from the Sadar Upazila of the district also died in the accident.

The dead from Shariatpur’s Vedarganj are Kakoli Begum, 20, her cousin’s wife Amatun Begum, 40, and Amatun’s 4-year-old daughter “Moriyom”.

The others are Jaheda Khatun, 30, from Moulvibazar’s Srimangal, and Robi Harijan, 23, from Noakhali’s Maizdi.

The bodies had been handed to their families, Brahmanbaria Assistant Commissioner and Executive Magistrate Prashanta Kumar Baidya told in the evening.

Bangladesh Railway said the families of the dead will be given Tk 100,000 each in compensation while the injured will get Tk 10,000 each. Brahmabaria district administration has given Tk 20,000 to each of the families of the dead for funerals.

Shariful Alam, senior public relations officer of the Ministry of Railways, said the Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan, along with senior officers, had visited the scene.

The Bangladesh Railway authorities have formed three probe committees, and the railway ministry and the Brahmanbaria district administration set up one each to investigate the crash, according to Minister Sujan.