At least 2,321 people have been crushed under trains in Dhaka division in the past eight years, figures from Dhaka’s Government Railway Police (GRP) station have revealed.
The accidents all took place along the 142km of track connecting Dhaka to Narayanganj to the south of the capital, and to Bangabandhu Bridge in Tangail to the north.
After falling steadily in 2014 and 2015, the number of fatalities rose to 305 in 2016 and has leapt again in the current year to December 21 to 336 - the highest level seen in the period.
Experts attribute the rise to a lack of public awareness and persistent land grabbing near the tracks.
“People across Bangladesh are getting killed in these kinds of incidents, and the reason behind it is carelessness,” Dhaka Railway police station Sub-Inspector Tofazzal Hossain said.
“We are trying to create awareness among people but if the ones using the tracks are not aware, then the death toll from this kind of incidents will not come down.”
After analysing the data taken from GRP station, it has been found that 422 people - or nearly one in five - were killed while walking on the railway tracks wearing headphones.
Some 554 people were killed while sitting on the tracks or walking on them, 898 were killed while crossing the tracks in a hurry, 55 died after falling off the roofs of the trains, and seven were killed in other accidents.
GRP officials work in a 10-foot area along both the sides of the railway tracks and section 144 is always imposed in this area. However, people still walk on the tracks, ignoring the ban.
The authorities concerned said influential people build slums and markets on the side of the tracks, which also increases the chance of accidents.
A total of 1,385 people aged between 19 and 50 were crushed under the wheels of trains during the eight-year period. Of the remainder, 203 people were aged between 1 to 18 and 348 people were aged over 51.
Among the deceased, 56 were students, 426 were labourers, and 379 were service holders. The remaining 1,075 held other occupations.
Only 2,049 cases were filed over the incidents in seven-and-a-half years.