At least 38 people were killed and 111 injured in road accidents in 12 districts across the country on Saturday, with experts blaming so many casualties in a single day on lax monitoring by the authorities and exhaustion of drivers from long hours at the steering wheel.
Among the victims, 16 died at Palashbari of Gaibandha, six at Sayel Shah of Rangpur, three in Gopalganj, two each in Natore, Sirajrganj, Faridpur and Lakshmipur, and one each in Feni, Netrakona, Tangail, Narsingdi and Savar of Dhaka.
Passenger Welfare Association of Bangladesh in a statement, however, claimed that 52 people were killed and 150 injured in 16 accidents across the country on the day.
Road safety experts have blamed this increasing number of road accidents on lack of monitoring by the authorities concerned and overwork of transport workers.
In Gaibandha, 16 people were killed and 30 injured on Bogra-Rangpur highway when the driver of a bus fell asleep and hit a roadside tree at Gorurhati Bazar of Palashbari around 4:30am.
The victims are all passengers of the bus of Thakurgaon-bound Alam Enterprise.
Of the deceased, eight were identified as Emdad Ali of Gangachara upazila in Rangpur, Yunus Ali of Sadullapur in Sirajganj, Minarul Khan of Jaldhaka in Nilphamari, Masud Rana of Char Rajibpur upazila in Kurigram, Abdur Rashid of Mirpur upazila in Kushtia, Jahirul Islam of Boda upazila in Panchagarh, Rubel Mia of Tangail, Akhtarul Islam of Birganj upazila in Dinajpur, United News of Bangladesh adds.
Sub-inspector Badal Mia of Palashbari Police Station told New Age that the bus fell into a roadside ditch after ramming a roadside tree near BRAC office at Gorurhati Bazaar, leaving 14 passengers dead on the spot while two others died at hospital.
Palashbari highway police said the bus driver fell asleep while driving, which caused the accident.
Police sent the injured to Palashbari Upazila Health Complex from where seven were referred to Rangpur Medical College Hospital.
New Age correspondent in Rangpur reported that six people including two female were killed and 10 others injured in a bus-truck collision at Saleshabazar-Paglapir under Sadar around 3:00am.
Taraganj highway police post in-charge Abdullah Hel Baki said workers of a Dhaka-bound BRTC double-decker ‘Eid special’ bus from Balubari of Dinajpur were repairing its tyre at Saleyashabazar.
Many of the passengers, mostly apparel workers returning to their workplaces, stood behind the bus observing the work.
A speedy sand-laden truck knocked the bus, leaving six people killed on the spot and the truck driver and his helper escaped.
The bodies were kept at Taraganj highway police post and the injured were admitted to Rangpur Medical College Hospital, he added.
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority data, prepared based on police’s first information reports, show that in 2017, a total of 2,513 people were killed. In 2016, the number of deaths in road accidents was 2,463.
Between Friday and Monday, during Eid holidays, at least 41 people died in road accidents across the country.
National Road Safety Council member and BUET professor Shamsul Hoque observed that after Eid the vigilance and monitoring of government was weak which might be a reason for so many deaths in road accidents.
The drivers were also very exhausted due to uninterrupted duty, he pointed out.
New Age correspondent in Faridpur reported that driver and helper of a bus of Tuhin Paribahan from Barisal died and 20 more were injured after it fell into ditch at East Sadardi under Bhanga around 9:00am.
The injured were admitted to Bhanga and Faridpur Medical College Hospital.
New Age Sirajganj correspondent reported that a truck driver and his assistant died on the spot and 10 more were injured in a bus-truck collision on Dhaka-Borga highway at Kalikapur of Raiganj around 6:30am.
Hatikumrul highway police sub-inspector M Ashraf Ali said a sand-laden truck collided with a bus of RK Paribahan while overtaking another vehicle.
Traffic on the busy highway was disrupted for an hour for the accident.
In Lakshmipur, a man and a woman were killed and another woman was injured in a collision between a truck and CNG auto-rickshaw on Ramgati-Sonapur road at Sekherkillah of Ramgati, reports our correspondent in Lakshmipur.
New Age Feni correspondent reported that a man was killed and two more were injured in a bus-power tiller collision on Dhaka-Chittagong Highway at Lalpul of Feni bypass in the afternoon.
In Netrakona, a teenage helper of illegal vehicle Mahendra died and five others were injured in a head-on collision of Mahendra and a microbus on Durgapur-Jaria National Highway in Suknakuri area at noon.
New Age correspondent in Tangail reported that a motorcyclist was killed when a bus hit his vehicle at Toildhara Botar intersection of Shokhipur in the morning.
United News Bangladesh reported that in Gopalganj two motorcyclists were killed as a bus hit their vehicle on Gopalganj-Tungipara Road in Ghonapara area of Sadar around 7:45am.
UNB also reported that in another accident at Muksudpur of the district, van driver Lokman Sheikh was run over by a Dhaka-bound bus while he was crossing Dhaka-Khulna Highway at Dasher Hat around 12:30pm.
Ten people were also injured in the accident.
In Natore, two people were killed and three others injured when a sand-laden truck hit an easy-bike at Alaipur of the district town around 7:00am.
At Savar, a man was killed and 20 others were injured as a bus hit a truck from behind on Dhaka-Aricha Highway in Turag area around 7:00am, UNB reports.
In Raipura of Narsingdi, a motorcyclist died from head injuries he suffered after falling off his vehicle while making way for a human hauler at Marjal Wander Park around 1:45pm, UNB reports.
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