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15 People Killed, 200 Injured in Train Accident in Bangladesh
By Ataur Rahman
Bangladesh Correspondent
Over 15 people were killed, and 200 others were injured in the deadly train accident in Bangladesh on Nov. 8, 2010.

Dhaka, Bangladesh Dec. 9, 2010 — At least 15 people were killed and 200 people were seriously injured at Narsingdi Railway Station in Bangladesh when the two intercity trains collided head-on on Dhaka-Chittagong railway tracks, on Dec. 8 (Wednesday), 2010.

Officials and witnesses said that one of the trains was going slow and was about to stop at Narsingdi Railway Station while the other was on high speed. They collided head-on leaving mangled carriages stacked on top of each other as they flew skywards.

Despite initial reports of deaths of some 15 people the toll remained 10 as several critically injured people were earlier thought to be dead.

Officials said that the seven passengers were travelling by both the Chittagong-bound Mahanagar Godhuli Express and the Dhaka- bound Chattala Express coming from the southeastern port city.

"Seven people were dead and 37 were seriously injured ... and 23 critically wounded ones were sent to Dhaka for better treatment," Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain told journalists over phone from the scene.

Local doctors feared that several of the injured who particularly sustained head wounds and referred to Dhaka might die and if they did not get to hospital quickly crossing the notorious traffic jam on the way.

The minister said that the crucial Dhaka-Chittagong tracks were cleared as salvage trains removed the wrecked carriages from the railway lines after the rescue works were completed by fire service people, army troops and policemen aided by hundreds of local residents.

Around 9:50 p.m. on Wednesday, fire service director (training and development) Major A M M Matiur Rahman told, "Rail links have been restored on the other tracks around 9:40 p.m. The Subarna Express train that left Dhaka for Chittagong has crossed the Narsinghdi station."

Official sources said that "locals have rescued around 150 injured passengers from the trains."

"We have already admitted 26 injured in local hospitals. Another 12 injured have been sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital," said Lt. Col. Syed Ahmed Ali, officer of the 47 Infantry Brigade.

Narsinghdi deputy commissioner Amrito Baroi said, "We have sent 23 injured people to Dhaka Medical College Hospital and to the National Orthopaedic Hospital in the capital."

Orthopaedic hospital's director Abdul Awal said, "One of the injured died on his way here. He was identified as Shafi Alam, one of the train's guards."

Narsinghdi Police Superintendent Akkas Uddin Bhuiyan earlier said: "Seven bodies have been recovered so far. All of them have been kept at Narsinghdi Sadar Hospital."

"One of them has been identified as Mahanagar Godhuli driver Mohammad Johurul Haque, 57. He hailed from Maddhonagar village in Narsinghdi's Raipura Upazila," he added.

The police official continued to say that Johurul was a freedom fighter and will be buried with state honour. One train went up on another following the collision.

But local residents and witnesses said that victims with severe leg and head injuries were being treated at local facilities at Narsingdi while several hundred were released from hospitals with first aid. The injured people were rushed to two major state-run hospitals and private facilities in ambulances, three wheeler rickshaws and rickshaw vans.

"Hundreds of people joined the rescue campaign along with fire service people and police ... they are trying to rescue the wounded in whatever means they can," a local journalist earlier said.

Meanwhile, a railway spokeswoman in Dhaka said that Bangladesh Railway formed two separate investigation committees on the train accident and were asked to submit reports within 48 hours.

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Mr. Ataur Rahman serves as Bangladesh Correspondent for The Seoul Times. He earned his Master of Commerce degree from Dhaka University in 1985. Mr. Rahman has vast journalistic experience including his stints at "The Daily Janata" and "The Dainik Bangla."






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