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Mirsarai tragedy: Gateman suspended, case filed

Bangladesh Railway on Saturday suspended gatekeeper Saddam Hossain for ‘dereliction of duty’ in connection with the Mirsarai train accident that left 11 people dead.

Besides, sub-inspector Zahirul Islam filed a case against the gatekeeper with the Chattogram Railway Police Station on Friday night for “negligence in duty.”

Bangladesh Railway (Eastern Zone) chief engineer Abu Zafar Mia on Saturday afternoon confirmed it.

Abu Zafar Mia said, “Police have already arrested him (Saddam Hossain). So, suspending him from service is not significant. Besides, he was not permanently appointed, rather, he woks under a project. Subordinate officials look after the project. However, I have received information that he was suspended officially.”

Chattogram Railway Police took gatekeeper Saddam Hossain into custody for questioning after 6:00pm on Friday following the tragic accident. He was shown arrested after filing the case.

Following the accident, the Railway authorities put all the blames of the accident on microbus driver.

Bangladesh Railway’s (Eastern Zone) chief engineer Abu Zafar Mia said, “There was a gatekeeper, named Saddam, at the railway crossing on the road. We have talked to him. He claimed that he put the crossing bar in time. But, violating his request, the microbus driver pulled the bar up and drove the microbus on the rail line which caused the accident.”

Later, another microbus passenger, Junayed Kaiser Imon, who survived the accident, said the Railway official Abu Zafar Mia’s remarks were not true.

Hathazari college student Junayed Kaiser Imon was sitting on the rear-end of the microbus which was badly damaged in the accident. He said there was no bar at the crossing. Because of it, the microbus driver drove his vehicle on the rail line.

Junayed Kaiser Imon said, “There was no barricade of train over there. It was raining when the train was coming. We couldn’t understand that the train was coming. As the driver started his microbus, the train came and rammed the vehicle. The train had suddenly come. We couldn’t understand it.

Eleven persons were killed and six other injured when a speeding train rammed a microbus carrying tourists at an unprotected level crossing at Baratakia Railway Station area in Mirsarai on Friday afternoon. They went to see Khoiyachhara Waterfall. The casualties happened due to the mistake of one of them when they were returning home.