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13 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM

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Turna driver blamed for fatal train crash

STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka

Negligence by the Turna Express train driver, who apparently ignored a signal and hit the Udayan Express train, caused the accident in Brahmanbaria, said an official of the Bangladesh Railway (BR) yesterday. Two signals were within 440 yards of each other at Mandbagh.

Turna Express was supposed to stop at the first signal. It had to change its line as Udayan Express was coming on that track, said BR Additional Director General Mia Jahan. Udayan Express was entering the loop line from the main line after receiving the signal. After nine bogeys of the train had crossed over into the loop line, Turna Express came on and hit the 10th bogey.

According to Mia Jahan, “We have initially learnt that the incident took place as the loco master disregarded the signal. Several bogeys of Turna Express collided with Udayan Express.” Another BR official, wishing not to be named, said that Turna Express, a new train, has a brake that can stop the train within a short distance. The driver as well as the guard can operate that brake. But neither of them applied the brake in this case. The guard of Turna Express, Abdur Rahman, told The Independent that the foggy weather and failure of the emergency brake had led to the fatal accident.

He, however, accepted the allegation of neglecting the signals. “At first, we did not see the signal. When we saw it, we pushed the emergency brake, but it did not work. Also, it was difficult to see the signal as the track was not straight,” he said.

“There were some stockpiles of bricks at the railway station, so we could not see the signal clearly. The foggy weather also obstructed our view,” he added. Udayan Express Assistant Driver Abdul Qaiyum said the Turna driver did not obey the signal. “Our signal was clear. As we were entering the station, our 10th coach was hit. Among the 16 coaches, no. 10, 11, 12 and 13 were badly damaged,” he informed.

Mandbagh Railway Station Master Zakir Hossain Chowdhury said the loco master of Turna Nishitha had ignored the outer home signal, which was showing the red light, and hit Udayan Express while it was changing track.

Rail Minister Nurul Islam Sujan said that negligence by one of the drivers of the two trains might have led to the fatal accident in Brahmanbaria. Speaking to the media at the site of accident site, the minister said initial investigation suggested that the negligence of Turna driver had led to the accident.

“We suspect that the driver of Turna disregarded the signal. Further details will be known only when the full probe report is available,” he added. The two Turna Nishitha drivers drove Mohanagar Provati from Dhaka to Chattogram on Monday. Mohanagar Provati left Dhaka at 7:45am and reached Chattogram at 3:50pm. After a seven-hour break, they again started an almost eight-hour journey, driving Turna Nishitha to Dhaka.

It is often alleged that train drivers do not get enough rest between their trips. This leaves them exhausted and increases the chance of accidents.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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