Bhairab train crash

Passenger safety must not be compromised

Published : 24 Oct 2023 09:20 PM

We are deeply shocked at the tragic death of so many people and injury of score others in a fatal train crash in Jagannathpur rail crossing area before Bhairab Junction in Kishoreganj.

This is one of the worst railway disasters in Bangladesh that left at least 23 people dead and more than 100 injured on Monday afternoon. Bangladesh Post on Tuesday ran a story headlined “Train crash kills 23” in detail, saying the ill-fated passengers met the tragic end of their lives and many others  were maimed and wounded when a cargo train rammed into  a passenger train near Bhairab Rail Station.

The death toll is likely to climb amid a desperate scramble to locate survivors from the mangled wreck. We also express our deepest condolences to the kin of the victims. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with the grieving families and pray for the salvation of the departed souls and early recovery of the injured. Bangladesh Railway has suspended the locomaster, assistant locomaster, and guard of the freight train involved in Monday’s Bhairab mishap. 

Despite government efforts to improve rail safety, many accidents occur every year on Bangladesh railways, which is going to be the country’s one of the largest communication networks. We see rail accidents occuring elsewhere in the country.

In 2019, at least 16 people were killed and score injured as two intercity trains collided in Kasba upazila of Brahmanbaria. Besides, our country also frequently saw derailment of compartments, including the engine of passenger and goods trains on different routes, snapping the railway communications. 

The authorities concerned will have to attach priority to this end as the railway is the safest way for transportation of people and goods as well.

Most train accidents are blamed on human error or outdated signaling equipment. The authorities concerned should be more alert to stop recurrence of train accident.

We also express our deepest 

condolences to the 

relatives of the victims

The people who are deputed in the railways will have to be more alert to stop repeat of such rail accidents. Simultaneously proper training to the rail staff and drivers is urgently needed to put an end to train accidents.

Keeping this in mind, the Bangladesh government will have to ensure safe train journey to the people through overall development of railways. We think government’s initiative to procure new coaches, locomotives and engines is not enough for the railway sector’s development and safe journey.

Therefore, alongside, rail lines and bridges will have to be modernised and it is urgently needed to repair the dilapidated railway tracks. The government is working to establish a rail network across the country for providing transportation to people and goods at a cheaper rate and safety.

So, the railway authorities will inspect, repair and maintain railway tracks to keep the trains running smoothly and safely. Otherwise, we may also witness such massive railway disaster like in Bhairab anytime anywhere.

As the government has been relentlessly striving for expansion and modernisation of rail lines to bring entire country under rail connectivity, it must ensure the safety of the railway passengers by taking effective steps.

If the authorities continue to put emphasis only on structural development without proper safety measures its progress will get faded.

Besides, if the locomaster, assistant locomaster, guard and gateman do not follow the law fully to ensure train safety, a heavy toll on people’s lives as casualties from accidents will be increasing every year. So, we people do not like to see the repetition of such deadly and tragic train accident that continue taking people’s lives and ruining many families within moments. 

The concerned ministry must take up a separate project to oversee and improve maintenance of the level crossing, and building capacity of the gatemen through revised training methodology.