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13 November, 2019 12:40:00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 13 November, 2019 12:50:05 PM
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16 killed as two trains collide

STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
16 killed as two trains collide
People crowd around the site of accident at Kasba in Brahmanbaria yesterday where Dhaka-bound Turna Express collided with Chattogram-bound Udayan Express, leaving at least 16 people killed. Inset, an excavator removes wreckages from the accident site. Focus Bangla Photos

At least 16 people were killed and over 100 injured in a fatal accident as two passenger trains collided at Mandbagh Railway Station in Kasba upazila of Brahmanbaria early yesterday.

The authorities concerned said the number of casualties may increase further as many of the surviving passengers, who are now undergoing treatment in different hospitals, sustained serious injuries in the crash.

The railway ministry held the loco master of Turna Express, an intercity train, responsible for the accident and suspended three persons in connection with the accident. Besides, five separate probe committees have been formed to investigate the incident. They have been asked to submit reports as soon as possible.  

Describing the accident as shocking, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in separate messages, expressed profound shock at the loss of lives in the fatal collision. Bodies identified Eleven persons have been identified so far among the victims of the accident. They are: Majibur Rahman (50), his wife Kulsuma Begum (43), Farzana Akhter (21), Yeasin Alam, Ali Mohammad Yusuf, Adiba Akhter Soha, Al Amin, Rubel Mia Talukdar (25), Sujon Mia (30), Zaheda Begum, and Robi Haridhan (25).  Soon after the accident, train services were suspended for seven hours and resumed only after 10am yesterday.

The fatal train crash took place when Dhaka-bound Turna Express from Chattogram rammed into Chattogram-bound Udayan Express from Sylhet at Mandbagh Railway Station around 3am, said Brahmanbaria deputy commissioner Hayat-Ud-Dowllah Khan.

According to witnesses, Turna Express left Shashidal Railway Station at 2:45 am for

Mandbagh Railway Station. The train was given signal to stop at the outer area. At the same time, Udayan Express was given signal to pass line-1 after it left Kasba Railway Station for Mandbagh. When six bogies of Udayan Express was on the main line, the loco master of Turna Express violated the signal and continued to run on the main line and rammed into the middle of Udayan express when it was entering line-1.  

Sources said the accident left two of the bogies of Udayan express badly twisted.

Soon after the accident, three units of Fire services from Kasba, Akhaura, and Brahmanbaira rushed to the spot to rescue the passengers. Besides, the police, railway police and RAB were deployed in the area.

The injured were admitted to the Kasba upazila health complex, Brahmanbaria Sadar Hospital, and Cumilla Medical College Hospital.

Mandbagh railway station master Jaker Hossain Chowdhury said the accident took place because Turna Express had violated the signal.

Suspension of services

Soon after the accident, train services on the Dhaka-Chattogram, Chattogram-Sylhet, Noakhali-Dhaka, and Noakhali-Sylhet routes were suspended. Dhaka’s train services with Chattogram also remained suspended for seven hours.

However, the services resumed at 10:25am after the authorities cleared the track.

Udayan Express left the Mandbagh station around 6am after leaving its six bogies. Two relief trains from Akhaura and Laksam railway junctions reached the spot to start the rescue operation.  Turna Express also left the spot for Dhaka around 10:48am.

“Train services between the Dhaka and Chattogram route have become normal around 10:25 am,” Kamalapur station manager Aminul Islam said.

Three suspended

Railways minister Nurul Islam Sujan yesterday held the loco master of Turna Express responsible for the accident and suspended three persons in connection with the accident.

He said the loco master of the Turna Express, Taser Uddin, his assistant Apu Dey and working guard Abdur Rahman were suspended and their part in the accident would be investigated.  

“We suspect the loco master of Turna Express is responsible for the accident,” he added.

Injured admitted to hospitals

Akhaura railway police station officer-in-charge Shayamal Kanti Das said 12 people had died on the spot and many others suffered injuries in the train crash. Later, three of the injured died at Brahmanbaria Sadar Hospital and another died at the Cumilla Sadar Hospital, sources said.

Among the injured, Mollah Mia, 25, had been admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital yesterday afternoon, said Bachchu Mia, in-charge of the hospital’s police outpost.

Five other injured were taken to the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (Nitor) in the capital, the sources said.  

Compensation

Visiting the spot, the rail minister said each victim's family would be given Tk. 1 lakh as compensation from the railway ministry and Tk. 25,000 from the district administration. Besides, the injured will get Tk. 10,000 from the ministry.

Five probe bodies formed

The government has formed five committees to investigate the fatal train accident.

The Bangladesh Railway authorities formed three probe committees, while the railway ministry and the Brahmanbaria district administration set up one each to investigate the crash, according to rail minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan.

“The committees have been ordered to file the probe reports as soon as possible,” the minister told the media.  

"The panels formed by the railway authorities and the district administration have been asked to report back in three days. And the committee formed by the ministry needs time to complete the report,” he said.

Voices of injured

The injured passengers said they were terribly shocked when the two trains collided with each other.

A passenger of Udayan Express, Kawsar, who is now admitted to Cumilla Medical College Hospital, said: “I was in Bogie ‘H’.  When our train reached Mandbhag, it received a violent jerk. My body jumped off the seat and fell on the floor.”

“I lost my sense. I don’t know what happened next. I got injuries all over my body and my ribs are broken,” he sobbed.

Messages of President, Prime Minister

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed deep shock over the accident.

They also expressed deep condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in the accident and prayed for the eternal peace of the victims.

The Prime Minister asked the local administration and public representatives to extend all-out support to the victims.

While addressing the 34th meeting of the Board of Governors of the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (Bepza) held at the Prime Minister’s Office, Hasina said: “I don’t know exactly why I see rail accidents just at the time of advent of winter. Indeed, it's a case not only in our country, but throughout the world. Those who work in the railway should be made more alert, while loco masters should be trained properly.”

“We could protect ourselves from a natural disaster like Bulbul, but it’s unfortunate that a train accident should claim so many lives,” she added.

MK/MK/BK

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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