Agitated students kept the road blocked for about an hour and vandalized 50 to 60 vehicles
Two students have been killed by a speeding bus on Dhaka’s busy Airport Road.
The deceased are Abdul Karim Rajib, a second-year student of Humanities department at Shaheed Ramiz Uddin Cantonment School and College, and Dia Khanam Meem, a first-year Science student at the same college.
At least seven others were also injured in the accident which took place in Kurmitola opposite the Radisson hotel around 12:30pm on Sunday.
An Uttara-bound bus of “Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan” rammed into a group of students who had been waiting on the road for vehicles to return home after college. Two of them died on the spot, witnesses said.
The bus from Mirpur hit the students right after they had crossed the flyover, witnesses added.
Agitated students and locals blocked the road for about an hour after the accident. They also vandalized 50 to 60 buses and set two buses on fire, Cantonment police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Kazi Shahan Hoque told the Dhaka Tribune.
“The situation is now under control,” Gulshan zone’s Additional Deputy Police Commissioner Mohammad Shahed Mia said later in the afternoon.
“We persuaded the students to end their blockade about half an hour ago,” he said. “So far, we can confirm that two students have died.”
He said police have detained the helper and driver of the bus.
Rajib’s cousin Meheraj told the Dhaka Tribune that Rajib has a brother and two sisters and he had been living with Meheraj in Ashkona area for more than three years.
Meanwhile, Dia’s father Jahangir, a bus driver, told the Dhaka Tribune that Dia was the youngest of his three children.
He said: “When Dia went to college, I never thought that I would be seeing her for the last time.”
Jahangir blamed the government and the transport system for the frequent road accidents that take place in Dhaka.
“Nowadays, people get licences even if they are unskilled. Vehicle owners allow these people to drive buses due to political lobbying and their family links,” he said adding that the owners do not think about what grave mishaps such decisions can lead to.
He said: “I have been driving for the last 30 years. If only skilled people were given licences, they would know how to drive in crowded areas and this would not happen.”
Rina Begum, the mother of injured student Arisha Akhter Mim, said she was informed about the accident through a phone call.
Later, she found her daughter at Kurmitola General Hospital.
Cantonment police station OC Shahan said some six other injured students are being treated at Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Dhaka.
Quoting eyewitnesses, a pedestrian told the Dhaka Tribune that the bus was unnecessarily competing with another bus of the same company, which led to the senseless tragedy.
Another witness, Engineer Ekramul Hoque told the Dhaka Tribune: “I saw the buses competing. After a few minutes, I noticed that the bus on the right-hand side managed to overtake the other bus while the one on the left-hand side rammed into the railing.
“When I went to the spot, I saw the six to seven students were lying on the road while four others were stuck between the bus and the railing.”