Saturday, February 23, 2019 | ePaper

5 killed as train derails in Tongi

1761 Rail Crossing turn death trap, over 150 killed in 837 accidents in 3 yrs

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Four compartments of Dhaka bound Jamalpur Commuter Train derailed in Gazipur in Tongi leaving 5 persons dead and scores of people injured.

Md Joynal Abedin Khan :
Five persons were reportedly killed and over 60 others injured centering a panic when a Dhaka-bound Jamalpur Commuter Train derailed at Natun Bazar area near  Tongi Railway Station, on the outskirt of the capital on Sunday afternoon.
The death toll might be increased as around 30 injured men have been admitted to several clinics and hospitals, including Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) in critical condition.
The countrywide railway communication from the capital was suspended for about six hours following the derailment of the five bogies of the commuter train at 12.15pm and the rail services resumed  around 6:00pm, said Yeasin Faruk, Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Kamalapur Railway Station.
Four persons jumped from the train during the derailment and were crushed under it, while another injured man was declared dead by the on-duty doctor at the Emergency Department of DMCH, the police official said.   
Primarily, it is being suspected that the incident occurred when the train was trying to change rail tracks, the OC said .
The nationwide rail communication with Dhaka city, except Narayanganj to Kamlapur, was disrupted following the accident, he added.
To a query, he could tell the exact number of the injured men as they were taken to different hospitals in Dhaka and Tongi with the assistance of general people, said Yasin Faruk.
Train service from Dhaka to Chattogram, Sylhet, Mymensingh and the Bangabandhu Bridge was halted after the accident, said Tongi Station Master Halimuzzaman.
Railways Minister Mujibul Haque visited the accident site and assured of monetary assistance to the family members of the deceased and to bear costs of medical treatment of the injured.
He said that a primary investigation suggests that the signal man gave the warning signal too late, but that is a matter for the probe team to confirm.
A three-member probe committee has been formed and committee asked to submit a report in three-working days, said Railway Eastern Region Chief Engineer Md Arifuzzaman, who leads the three-member committee.
Railway official sources said that 1761 railway crossing points became  death traps as the guard system is almost unsafe due to shortage of man power and logistic support. At least 150 people were killed in 837 train accidents in 3 years. Most of them died after accidents at in the crossing  points, for jumping from roof top of trains and throwing from inside the trains by the miscreants.  
Dr Masud Rana, a physician of Shaheed Ahsan Ullah Master General Hospital, told The New Nation on Sunday evening, "We gave primary treatment to 12 injured and released them. 14 other injured were sent to Dhaka for better treatment."
Seven victims were taken to DMCH, where Md Shahadat, 38, was announced dead. The six others, who were  admitted are Badol, 28, Shobuj, 40, Israfil, 12, Alamgir, 32, Badol, 50, and Md Sharif, 28, said DMCH Medical Outpost ASI Babul Mia.
Tongi Fire Service and Civil Defence Station officer Md Atiqur Rahman, said that five bogies of a Dhaka-bound Jamalpur commuter train veered off the track around 12:15pm, leaving four dead on the spot and many others injured.
Members of Fire Service with the help of locals rescued the wounded and sent them to different hospitals and clinics, he said.
They also recovered four bodies from the scene and handed them over to police. Their identities are yet to be confirmed, he added.
The Ishakha Express, which was scheduled to leave Dhaka at 11:30am was delayed due to the accident. The train started for Tongi around 6:50pm after the line was cleared, said Bangladesh Railway Additional Inspector General Md Mia Zahan.
Joydebpur Railway Outpost SI Rakibul Haque, said "The last four carriages derailed and the speed of the train caused it to continue on for some time. Two of the carriages overturned at this point," he said.
Meanwhile, two school goers died under a train at Poradah Railway Crossing in Mirpur upazila around 12:00pm on Sunday. They are Ayetullah, 13, and Mubin, 14, students of Ailchara High Scholl, said our Kustia Correspondent.

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