At least 26 people including five women and two children were killed and 22 others injured when a bus crashed into roadside trees on the Faridpur-Barisal highway at Kaidubi under Bhanga upazila in Faridpur early yesterday. Of the deceased, 11 were identified as Shahin Sikder (20), Asma (27), Sumon (28), Manirul (35), Rezaul (23), Afzal (48), Surja Begum (70), Helal Kabir (40), Amena, Aklima (10), and Safiqul Bhuiyan (22)– supervisor of the bus. The identities of the other victims could not be ascertained immediately.
According to police, fire service and the local people, the accident occurred around 1:30am when a Patuakhali-bound bus of ‘Sonartori Paribahan’ crashed into roadside trees as its driver lost control over the steering in Kaidubi area, leaving 20 of its passengers killed on the spot and 28 others injured. The bus turned turtle and was mangled after the accident, the police said.
A combined team of the police and fire service rescued the injured with the help of local people and took them to Bhanga Upazila Health Complex where three succumbed to injuries. The rest were shifted to Faridpur Medical Collage Hospital (FMCH) as their condition deteriorated but three more succumbed to injuries at the hospital.
The driver and his assistant have claimed the accident occurred because robbers had attacked the bus. However, some of the passengers who have survived the accident, claimed the accident was a result of a reckless driving by the driver.
Local lawmaker Majibar Rahman Chawdhury, Faridpur Deputy Commissioner (DC) Sharafat Ali Sarder, Superintendent of Police Jamil Hassan visited the spot soon after the incident.
The local administration formed a three-member committee headed by Additional Deputy Commissioner Abdur Rashid to probe the incident.
The DC has announced that families of each deceased will receive Tk 10,000 to complete burials. Meanwhile, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have expressed profound shock at the loss of lives in the road accident.
They prayed for the salvation of the departed souls and conveyed deep sympathy to the bereaved family members.
BNP chief Khaleda Zia, on the other hand, said the government has failed to take effective measures to check growing accidents on roads and waterways.
Expressing her profound shock over the deaths, Khaleda alleged the government is constantly ignoring the issue of public security as ‘it has no sense of responsibility to people’.
In 2013, Barguna-2 lawmaker Sabur Tulu and four others were killed in a road accident on the same spot. Earlier in 2011, eleven people were killed on that very spot at Kaidubi in a bus accident.
Despite repeated accidents on a same spot, the authorities concerned is yet to take any visible step to caution drivers to prevent road crashes in the area.