Police detained four Bangladesh Railway employees on Friday for interrogation on the derailment of Rangpur Express and subsequent fire on it at Ullapara railway station in Sirajganj on Thursday.
The railways ministry on the day formed a new probe committee. With this, now four probe committees are working.
During a visit to Ullahpara on Friday afternoon, railways minister Nurul Islam Sujan said investigation was on whether any sabotage attack was carried out on the train.
At least 20 passengers were injured as the locomotive and two compartments of Rangpur Express caught fire following the derailment of the train’s locomotive and seven compartments.
Rail communications between Dhaka and the northern and south-western districts remained snapped for about seven hours due to the accident.
Government Railway Police on Friday morning detained four railways employees for interrogation, confirmed Sirajganj railway police station officer-in-charge Harun Majumder and Bangladesh Railway Paksey divisional transportation officer Abdullah Al Mamun.
The detainees are – Ariful Islam, a khalashi, and mechanics Abdur Razzaq and Makbul Hossian.
Two committees — one by the railway and the other by Sirajganj deputy commissioner — were formed on Thursday.
Abdullah Al Mamun said on Friday morning the railways ministry formed a five-member committee led by additional secretary Md Faruk-uz-Zaman.
At Ullapara, the railways minister said few years ago a quarter lit fire on a train at Mulibari in Sirajganj and now they were not rejecting chances of repetition of same act in the Ullapara accident.
He said that the quick spread of fire from the locomotive to two other coaches was a doubtful incident.
‘As far I know, the signalling system was okay here,’ he said, adding that the expensive compartments were imported from abroad which had at least 20 years’ life.
The minister also pointed at a relative of a senior railway official who worked as a contractor on the Sirajganj-Ishwardi section.
If allegation of irresponsibility and irregularities would be proved against anyone, strict action would be taken immediately, he added.
Railways secretary Md Mofazzel Hossain, Bangladesh Railway director general Md Shamsuzzaman and Sirajganj deputy commissioner Faruk Ahmed were also present with the minister.
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