A speeding express train rammed into a microbus at a level crossing at Mirsharai upazila on Friday, killing at least 11 people who were returning from a visit to a popular waterfall in the hills of the area, police and fire service said.
The dead were all travelling by the microbus. Eleven of them died at the scene, while six others were injured, police and fire service said.
Nine of the deceased were identified as ‘R&J’ coaching centre teachers Wahidul Alam Jisan, Sajeeb, Rakib and Redwan; and SSC candidates of KS Najumia High School Hisham, Ayat, Maruf, Tasfir and Hasan.
The six injured are - microbus helper Taukid Ibn Shawon, 20, and students Md Mahim, 18, Tanveer Hasan Hriday, 18, Md Emon, 19, Tasmir Pavel, 16, and Md Saikat, 18. They are undergoing treatment at Chittagong Medical College and Hospital.
They were travelling back home at Aminbazar of Hathazari after a tour of the Khoiyachora Waterfall in the hills of Mirsharai, according to accounts of rescue workers.
Also read: 3 of family killed in Pabna road crash
The tragedy occurred around 1.30pm at the unmanned rail crossing near Bara Takia station of the upazila in Chottgram district, police officials said.
Witnesses told UNB that the Chattogram-bound Mahanagar Provati express from Dhaka ploughed through the microbus, dragging it around a kilometre down the railway track, where the train also stopped.
All the casualties were from the microbus. Eleven of them died on the spot, said Khorshed Alam, in charge of Sitakundu police outpost.
“There were 17 passengers on the microbus and two of them were rescued safely by members of two units of fire service deployed in the area”, said Shahjahan Sikder, deputy assistant director (media cell) of Fire Service and Civil Defence Directorate. Police said six passengers were injured and sent to hospital.
“They were all tourists who went to visit Khoiyachora waterfall in Mirsharai from Aman Bazar area in Hathazari upazila,” he said.
“The microbus got on the rail track breaking through a bamboo barrier at the level crossing before it was hit by the train. Rail operation on the route remained suspended after the accident,” said Ansar Ali, transportation officer of Bangladesh Railway (east).