2 Trains On Same Track
Ahmed Humayun Kabir Topu, back from Ullapara, Sirajganj
At least two passengers were killed and 40 others injured when two intercity trains collided head on at Ullapara Railway Station in Sirajganj early yesterday.
After the impact, rail communications between the capital and northern and southern districts remained suspended for about eight hours.
The railway authorities temporarily suspended four of its employees for negligence of duties and formed two committees to investigate the incident.
Witnesses said Dhaka-bound Ekota Express from Dinajpur took line-1 of the station due to a wrong signal at 3:40am.
It crashed into Lalmonirhat-bound Lalmoni Express which had been waiting there to allow passage of Ekota Express.
The collision left two people — Altaf Hossain, 35, of Natore Sadar upazila and Majibar Rahman, 40, of Lalmonirhat Sadar — dead on the spot, said Akbar Hossain, OC of Sirajganj Government Railway Police (GRP).
Among the 40 injured, some were whisked off to Ullapara Upazila Health Complex while others received primary treatment at different local clinics, he said.
“Due to the wrong signal from the station, Ekota Express moved to the first track instead of the second,” the OC added.
Four coaches of two trains and their engines were badly damaged in the collision, said Pankaj Kumar Saha, divisional railway manager (DRM) of Pakshey division.
The train service on the routes resumed around 12:00 noon after a relief train arrived at the spot from Ishwardi and removed the wreckage from the tracks, he said.
“We understand that Ekota Express took the wrong track due to a wrong signal and its driver could not control the speed,” he added.
The suspended railway officials are Ekota Express driver Bankim Chandra, its assistant driver Md Safi, guard Azizur Rahman and Ullapara station master Nur Kutub Alam.
Md Tafazzul Hossain, director general of the railway, said two probe committees were formed to investigate the incident.
“One committee will be headed by the railway chief engineer and the other by an additional director general,” he said.
Meanwhile, senior railway officials led by its Secretary Abul Kalam Azad visited the spot.