Eight people including three children and five women were killed as a Jaipurhat-bound bus from Bogura plunged into roadside ditch at Baniapara in Jaipurhat on Friday.
Twenty-one people were also injured in the accident and conditions of five of them were stated to be critical. They are being treated at different hospitals in Jaipurhat.
Five of the dead could be identified as Sharmin, 17, a resident of Ambari of Palashbari, Humaira, 7, of Karia of Panchbibi, Hena Khatun, 38, of Kadirpur of Kalai, Jakia Khatun, 65, of Ratanpur in Panchbibi, and Rita Munmun, 16, of of Pirganj in Rangpur. Identities of the remaining three could unidentified.
Jaipurhat Fire Service and Civil Defense inspector Sirajul Islam said that the accident occurred around 1:30pm after a Jaipurhat-bound bus from Bogura lost control and plunged into a roadside ditch.
He said that the accident took place at Baniapara of Jaipurhat sadar upazila as the driver of the bus did not reduce speed while driving on a rickety road.
Identity of the driver could not be known immediately as he and his assistant fled the scene immediate after the accident, he said.
Rescuers said the bus so badly damaged that forced them to cut the structure of the bus into pieces to rescue the trapped passengers and take out bodies.
Witnesses said that fire service arrived at the scene half an hour after the accident.
The place of occurrence was on a 45-km stretch of road which the transport workers consider dangerous for its exceptionally bad condition.
The road lies riddled with big potholes for about five months since its metal surface was completely removed for replaced with new layer of carpeting.
‘Contractors abandoned the road construction work for reasons not known to public,’ said Jahangir Alam, president of Jaipurhat district’s motor shramik union. He said that authorities were fully aware of potential dangers from driving on such a road.
‘The accident could have been avoided had the construction work finished in time,’ he said.
At least five people were killed on the road in past five months, he added.
A pal of gloom descended upon Jaipurhat as soon as the news of accident was spread. Screams of accident victims filled the air at the hospital.
Relatives of the injured passenger demanded government assistance in treatment and compensation.
Another elderly man died in a road accident in Gangni of Meherpur on the day.
In Meherpur, Siddiqur Rahman, 65, was killed on the spot as a truck ran over him at Haridaha of Gangni on Friday morning.
Gangni police station officer-in-charge Harendranath Sarker told New Age locals caught the truck driver.
In the past three months, 1,220 people were killed and 2,045 were injured 1,126 traffic accidents, according to a report compiled by Accident Research Institute of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology based on reports published in four newspapers.
The number of deaths in road accidents in January-March period increased by about 28 per cent compared to 2018 and 49 per cent compared to 2017.
Road accidents and deaths in such accidents increased amid student protests, in July 2018 and in March 2019, for road safety.
Police data shows in 2018, there were 2,609 traffic accidents, in which there were 2,635 deaths and 1,920 injured.
In 2017, 2,513 people were killed and 1,898 were injured in 2,562 accidents; whereas in 2016, 2,463 people were killed and 2,134 injured in 2,566 accidents; and in 2015, 2,376 people were killed and 1,958 injured in 2,394 accidents, the data shows.
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