Moulvibazar train disaster leaves 5 killed, 67 injured
Rail links with Sylhet restored
Moulvibazar, June 24: An overcrowded Dhaka-bound Upaban Express train from Sylhet derailed at Baramchal Bridge at Kulaura in Moulvibazar, leaving at least five people, including three women, killed and more than 67 other passengers injured on Sunday midnight.
Of the injured, 20 are in critical condition and undergoing treatment at Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital while the rest have been given first aid, according to Railway officials.
Railway officials and locals told the Daily Observer that the accident
occurred when the train was crossing a bridge at Baramchal in Kulaura around 11:50pm on Sunday, snapping rail links between Sylhet and the rest of the country.
Srimangal Station Master Jahangir Alam said intercity Upaban Express left the Sylhet Railway Station at 10:00pm and reached Maijgaon Railway Station safely. But when it was crossing Bhatera five coaches went off the track only after it crossed 200 metres from Baramchal Station.
The government has formed two separate committees to investigate the train derailment at Moulvibazar that cause death and injury to many people. The rescue operation may come to a close on Monday afternoon, according to railway officials.
The first committee headed by Mizanur Rahman, chief mechanical engineer (east), has been asked to submit its report in the next three working days.
Railways Secretary Md Mofazzel Hossain, Additional Secretary Mujibur Rahman and Bangladesh Railway Director General Qazi Md Rafiqul Alam went to the scene around 9:00am on Monday.
"The derailment which snapped Railway communications between Sylhet and the rest of the country may resume by 5:00pm on Monday," said Additional Secretary Mujibur Rahman.
One of the coaches crashing the culvert fell into a canal and two bogies rolled into the field beside the rail tracks.
At least 11 units of the Fire Service reached the scene and began the rescue operation with the help of the locals. They recovered four bodies from the train, said Divisional Deputy Director of the Fire Service Mohammed Ali.
Three among the dead were women and the other a man, Resident Medical Officer Dr Zakir at Kulaura Health Complex said there were four dead bodies at the government facility from the accident.
Eighteen of the injured were sent to the Moulvibazar General Hospital and Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital in 'critical condition' for treatment, he added.
Witnesses said they saw a family taking a body away from the scene, but there was no official confirmation.
Earlier, Kulaura Police Station Officer-in-Charge Yardous Hasan said the damaged coaches of the train were disconnected from the engine before they fell off the tracks. Apart from the five damaged bogies, one was seen undamaged at the site.
Trains including Kalni Express, Jayantika Express, Surma Mail, Parabat Express got halted after the accident, according to the Srimangal and Shamser Nagar Station masters. Some of the passengers got off the train and tried to reach their destination by alternative means.
Passengers who regularly travel between Dhaka and Sylhet said the accident occurred perhaps due to high pressure of passengers on the train as repair work on a bailey bridge at Shahbazpur in Brahmanbaria's Sarail has halted Dhaka-Sylhet bus services. All the 17 bogies of the Upaban Express were full of passengers, they said.