Dhaka: At least five people were killed and 67 others were injured after an intercity train derailed in Moulvibazar district late on Sunday.
Police and railway officials said that five coaches of Dhaka-bound Upaban Express train, coming from Sylhet veered off the tracks at around 11:40 pm (local time), after a culvert over the Barochhara Canal, broke down, Dhaka Tribune reported.
Two of the coaches fell into the canal and one of them overturned, authorities said.
In the wake of the accident, train services between Sylhet and the rest of the country have been suspended.
The number of casualties is expected to rise as rescue and search operation is underway.
A four-member committee has been formed to investigate the mishap. “Railway Chief Mechanical Engineer Md Mizanur Rahman will lead the probe committee,” Secretary of Railway Ministry Mofazzel Hossain said on Monday.
The committee has been asked by the government to submit a report within three working days.
Out of the five deceased persons, three of them are females and two are males, said Moulvibazar Civil Surgeon Dr. Shahjahan Kabir.
“Moreover, 67 passengers have been injured. Of them, 20 are in critical condition and undergoing treatment at Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital,” he said.
Passengers of the ill-fated train said that the derailment was caused due to overcrowding, adding that people were standing in the walkways or near the doors.
“There was no space inside the train bogies. People were standing crammed against each other and heading for their destinations,” the newspaper quoted Rafiq Ali, a passenger who escaped unhurt in the accident.
Authorities are suspecting that overcrowding and additional coaches attached to the intercity train could be the cause of the fatal crash.
“Additional bogies were attached to this train. These bodies have very old suspensions which can cause such accidents. At the same time, the speed which the train maintained when the accident happened should also be considered. However, primarily it is believed that overloading is the prime reason,” Kulaura Railway Junction Traffic Inspector (TIC) Ataur Rahman said.