8 persons are dead, 25 injured
Witnesses said the train from Narayanganj hit two buses that were stuck on the level crossing near Sayedabad at around 5:00pm. It tossed one of the buses far on to a rickshaw, shifted shops beside the road and pedestrians.
According to them the level crossing gateman did not close the gate (one of four gates) before the rail line. Rather he closed the gate after the line, which was put there to prevent vehicles crossing over using the wrong side of the road.
The busses could not go backwards due to stationary traffic and forward for the closed gate. Seeing the train approaching, the passengers were able to disembark but most casualties occurred when the train tossed the busses on to a rickshaw, shops and bystanders.
The train was not traveling fast and it managed to stop on the level crossing.
Following the incident, the drivers of the buses and the train disappeared. Vehicular movement on the busy road resumed after the busses and the train were removed at around 6:20pm. The delay in moving the train caused serious traffic jams in the area.
The resident Doctor at the casualty block of Dhaka Medical College Hospital told The Daily Star that people rushed there with severe injuries. Two of them are in a critical condition, he said.
Meanwhile, Md Shahjahan, joint director general (operations) of Bangladesh Railway, told The Daily Star, “The accident probably had occurred as the buses ignored the signal of the railway gateman to stop ahead of the closing level crossing gate.”
He said a four-member investigation team has been formed.