Five people, including a cancer patient, her daughter and sister, were killed in a head-on collision between an ambulance ferrying them to a hospital and a speeding truck in Kalihati upazila of Tangail on Saturday.
Five others injured from the accident are currently being treated at the Tangail General Hospital.
Local police couldn’t immediately identify all of the three deceased women.
But a relative of the family in Chattogram confirmed that the three women were Mabia,15, her mother Farida Begum, 30, and her aunt Ferdousi Begum, 34 all hailing from Chattogram’s Freeport area under EPZ police station.
Saifur Rahman, a close relative of the three confirmed their identities to UNB’s Chattogram correspondent.
“They left for Sirajganj Cancer Hospital by an ambulance from Chattogram around 12 am for cancer patient Farida Begum’s scheduled chemotherapy session”, he said.
However, all the victims boarded the northern district-bound ambulance supposedly in the absence of any public transport due to the Covid-induced stricter lockdown, said Bangabandhu-Bridge East police station’s Sub-Inspector Nazmul earlier to UNB’s Tangail correspondent.
The accident occurred around 7.30am when the fish laden truck crashed into the ambulance that was coming from the opposite direction on the east side of Bangabandhu bridge in the Hatia area, police said.
The impact of the collision was such that three occupants of the ambulance including the driver died on the spot. The seven other injured occupants were rushed to Tangail General Hospital, where two of them were declared dead on arrival.
A probe has been ordered into the accident, a police official said.
Road accidents in Bangladesh
Road accidents are common in Bangladesh and have been a major cause of deaths.
During the last Eid-ul-Fitr holiday rush, road accidents claimed 323 lives in just 15 days, said Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Shamiti, a human rights body.
Besides, 513 people, including 63 children, were killed and 598 injured in 409 road accidents across the country in March, said the Road Safety Foundation on April 5.
According to the NGO, 147 lives were lost in 138 motorcycle accidents, which is 28.65% of the total deaths.
In a report released in February 2020, the World Bank pointed out that Bangladesh needs to invest an estimated $7.8 billion over the next decade to halve its road crash fatalities.
The report attributed the high death rate on Bangladesh’s roads to lack of investments in systemic, targeted, and sustained road safety programmes.