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POST TIME: 25 June, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 25 June, 2019 01:06:30 AM
Maulvibazar train accident

Maulvibazar train accident

At least six people, including three women, were killed and more than 200 injured as an intercity train derailed on a bridge at Baramchal in Kulaura upazila on Sunday night. OC of Kulaura Police Station said six bogies of Dhaka-bound 'Upaban Express' train from Sylhet veered off the tracks around 11:40pm after a culvert over the Barochhara Canal, 200 yards off Baramchal Railway Station, broke down. One of the carriages of the Upaban Express fell into a canal while two others fell close to the canal’s banks. Several other carriages were also derailed.

Rail transportation is considered as the safest and cheapest mode of transport nowadays. But in our country, railway is not always recognised as an alternative option to other modes of transport because of intolerable delays due to old train operation system as well as frequent rail accidents. The overall safety status of Bangladesh Railway such as signalling and interlocking system, train control and operation system, safety performance at level crossing, accident data preservation system, and accident investigation system are not satisfactory.

Shortage of required manpower in Bangladesh Railway is one of the major impediments to provide safe and efficient train operation. Collision at level crossing is the major type of train collisions in our country. There are passengers without tickets. They usually travel on the roof of the trains.  They care less about their safety. It is imperative for the relevant authorities to appoint sufficient number of TTE to check tickets of passengers. Vigilance should be intensified so that none can travel without tickets.

To minimize such incidents in the future, some preventive measures are needed to be taken, such as possible grade separation, use of GPS based vehicle tracking system to control train movements, introduce anti collision devices or automatic train stop devices, safety awareness of road users at level crossings. Psychological disability and physical fitness of all staff related to train operation, especially loco master, should be checked regularly. There is no alternative to precautionary measures to prevent deaths due to train accidents.   Generation of awareness is also needed to avert such accidents.