At least two people were killed and two more injured when a passenger train hit a truck at a level crossing at Dakkhinkhan area under sadar thana in Gazipur City Corporation on Sunday.
In a separate incident, rail communication between Sylhet and the rest of the country snapped for half an hour on the same day as a train hit a cow at Monu rail station area under Kulaura in Moulvibazar.
New Age correspondent in Gazipur reported that one of the deceased was identified as Solaiman, 32, a passenger on the truck and another was either the driver or helper of the truck.
Tongi railway police in charge sub-inspector Rafiqul Islam told New Age that while crossing the Dhaka-Mymensingh rail line around 3:45am a soil-laden truck got stuck on the track as its engine broke down.
The Maitree Express on Dhaka-Kolkata route hit the truck and the truck fell into a track-side ditch, leaving a truck worker dead on the spot and three others injured.
Members of Tongi Fire Service Station and Tongi Railway Police sent the injured to the Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Medical College Hospital in Gazipur.
Solaiman, one who sustained serious injury, was rushed to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital where on-duty doctors declared him dead.
Sub-inspector Rafiqul Islam said that during or after the accident (till writing of this report at 6:00pm) they could not locate the gateman was supposed be there at the level crossing.
A case was under process, he added.
Bangladesh Railway’s Dhaka divisional officials confirmed that the level crossing had a gateman and during the accident the vehicle got on the crossing defying the signal.
‘Following any such accident at level crossings the gateman usually escape to avoid repercussion from the public and in this case same thing might have happened,’ said the officer.
Joydebpur junction station master Md Shajahan and Dhirasram station master Helal Uddin informed that the incident took place when the train was on the way to Dhaka for taking passengers to Kolkata.
The train left the area after the incident.
Fatal accidents at level crossings are frequent in the country as many vehicles cross the level crossings defying signals.
According to railway there are around 3,000 level crossings in the country, out of which more than 1,000 are unauthorised and only about 19 per cent of them have gatemen.
According to a survey conducted by Accident Research Institute of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in 2018, the number of level crossing accidents was 232, with 242 people killed and 227 injured in 2018.
The other accident involved an express train and a cow.
New Age correspondent in Moulvibazar reported that on Sunday the Joyantika Express on Dhaka-Sylhet route hit a cow at the adjacent area of Monu rail station at Kulaura around 6:30pm.
Following the incident the cow died on the spot and the vacuum pipe of the locomotive torn out.
Train movement from Sylhet to rest of the country snapped and after repairing the vacuum pipe, communication resumed around 7:00pm, said Kulaura rail station assistant engineer (way) Jewel Ahmed.
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