POST TIME: 25 June, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 25 June, 2019 02:18:44 AM
Moulvibazar train accident
Faulty line or misaligned wheel or overcrowding likely cause
Railway minister tells reporters

Faulty line or misaligned wheel or overcrowding likely cause

Local people join hands with firefighters in rescue operation as the intercity train Upaban Express goes off the rails on a rickety bridge and falls into a ditch at Kulaura in Moulvibazar in the wee hours of Sunday, killing at least six passengers. Story on Page 1 Focus Bangla Photo

Probable causes behind Sunday night's train accident at Moulvibazar could be either faulty lines or improper alignment of coach wheels or overcrowding of bogies. Train services to Sylhet were suspended following the accident, in which at least six people were killed and around 67 injured. The services were likely to resume by Monday evening.

The railway ministry has formed two separate probe committees. Railway chief mechanical engineer Md Mizanur Rahman will lead a four-member committee at the zonal level, while  Kamlapur railway station divisional transport officer (DTO) Moinul Islam will head a five-member committee at the divisional level.

The committees have been asked to submit their reports within three working days.

Six coaches of the Dhaka-bound passenger train Upaban Express from Sylhet veered off the tracks on Sunday night, after a culvert over the Barochhara canal broke down, leaving at least six people dead and around 67 injured. Railway secretary Mofazzal Hossain said this while talking to reporters after visiting the spot yesterday (Monday).

The accident disrupted Sylhet’s rail communication with other parts of the country, including the capital city of Dhaka.

“The railway ministry will compensate family members of the dead and would ensure proper treatment for the injured people,” railway minister Nurul Islam Sujan told this correspondent.

He said senior officials, including the ministry’s secretary and the director general of railways, have visited the spot.

A relief train has reached the spot to rescue survivors and restore the tracks, the minister said.

“A four-member probe committee has already been formed and action will be taken after receiving the report,” he added.

The railway secretary, Mofazzal Hossain, said: “We hope that the rescue operation will end soon. Besides, the probe bodies have been asked to submit their reports within three working days. The committees will identify the causes of the accident. Either the lines

were faulty or the alignment of the coach wheels was not proper.”

He was talking to reporters at the accident site at Moulvibazar’s Kulaura yesterday morning.

Two of the dead could be identified till yesterday morning. They are Monowara Parvin, 48, and Fahmida Yeasmin, 20.

Two other bodies, one of a woman and the other of a man, were expected to be identified soon.

Of the injured, 62 were treated at the Kulaura upazila health complex, while 20 others were shifted to different hospitals. Twenty-four injured were taken to Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital.

According to Kamlapur station manger, Aminul Haque, Upaban Express reached Dhaka’s Kamalapur station with seven carriages at 9:45am, while two trains—Kalni Express and Jayantika Express—were cancelled. The Kamalapur station authorities are refunding tickets of the cancelled trains, the station manager said.

The Sylhet-bound Parabat Express left Kamalapur yesterday morning and will run till Kulaura, Moulvibazar, if the lines are not restored by then.

Talking to The Independent, many of the passengers of the ill-fated train said most of the bogies were overcrowded, mostly standing in the walkways and crowding near the doors.

“There was no space inside. People were standing crammed against each other and heading for their destinations,” said Rafiq Ali, a passenger who escaped unhurt.

However, Kulaura railway junction traffic inspector (TIC), Ataur Rahman told this correspondent that he believes overloading and additional bogies were the reasons behind the train mishap. The suspensions of the additional bogies attached to the train were very old, and that might have caused the accident.

Suspensions are the system of springs and other devices that insulates the chassis from shocks transmitted through the wheels.

Witnesses said passengers started crying for help after it derailed and fell into the Barochhara canal. Locals rushed to the scene after the disaster was announced through loudspeakers