In a devastating incident that unfolded on Monday, a collision between two locomotives in the eastern city of Bhairab, Bangladesh, has resulted in the loss of at least 17 lives and left over 100 individuals grievously wounded. Authorities are deeply concerned that this harrowing death toll may yet rise.
The calamity transpired when a freight train, inexplicably, collided with a passenger train moving in the opposite direction. The force of impact was such that it led to the derailment of two passenger carriages, trapping and crushing passengers within. Sadiqur Rahman, a government administrator in Bhairab, lamented, “We have recovered 17 bodies, and more than 100 people were injured. The death toll is anticipated to increase.” Rescue personnel encountered a grim scene, with bodies entangled beneath the overturned coaches.
Efforts to alleviate the catastrophe have been mobilized. A rescue train, equipped with cranes, is en route to the scene. The local populace and volunteers rushed to the accident site immediately after the incident occurred at around 4 p.m. GMT, with anguished individuals frantically searching for their loved ones amidst the wreckage.
Footage captured by the private Channel 24 vividly depicted the anguish and despair of the crowds gathered at the accident site, where the enormity of the tragedy became painfully evident.
Amidst the grim aftermath, there was a glimmer of hope. “We have rescued at least two people alive from the overturned coaches,” reported Nazmul Haque, a volunteer from the Red Crescent.
The response to this catastrophe has been multifaceted. Fire service, police, and the elite Rapid Action Battalion security force have converged at the crash site, intensifying rescue and recovery efforts.
Bangladesh’s authorities have initiated two comprehensive investigations into the accident. Additionally, appeals have been issued, beseeching volunteers to donate blood to aid the injured.
Nazmul Islam, the general manager of the state-run Bangladesh Railway, which owns the trains involved, disclosed to local media that the freight train had exceeded its designated signal, a critical breach that contributed to the tragic incident.
Regrettably, train accidents have become a disconcertingly frequent occurrence in Bangladesh, often attributed to subpar signaling systems, negligence, dilapidated tracks, and a general state of infrastructure disrepair.