Railways minister shares the findings of investigation committees
The November 12 collision of trains at Brahmanbaria’s Kasba upazila, which claimed 18 lives, was the result of negligence of the loco master, assistant loco master and the guard of intercity train Turna Nishita, says the railways minister.
Nurul Islam Sujan disclosed the matter at Rail Bhabhan in Dhaka on Wednesday afternoon, while sharing the findings of three committees that investigated the incident.
The ministry, Bangladesh Railway, and the Brahmanbaria district administration had formed one committee each.
“The accident happened because they failed to follow the signals properly,” said Sujan, holding loco master Taser Uddin, assistant loco master Apu Dey, and guard Md Abdur Rahman responsible.
“The loco master and the assistant loco master were not sleeping, as the speed of the train fluctuated before the accident,” he added.
The reports also said the fog was not dense enough to cause visual impairment of the drivers.
The trio has already been suspended and will face further punishment based on what they respond to the show-cause notices, the minister said. “But the punishment for negligence is permanent ban from the service.”
“They will also be charged under criminal law if they caused the collision intentionally,” he added.
Sujan then went on to present five recommendations made by the probe committees to prevent such future collisions.
They are: setting up CCTV cameras in trains to observe the loco master, the assistant loco master, and the guard; arranging training programs for railway officials; filling up vacant posts; introducing closed user group apps or other technology to maintain communication between stations and trains; and introducing automatic train stop system.
In the worst railway disaster over the past decade, 18 people including five children were killed and over 70 others injured in a collision between intercity trains Turna Nishita and Udayan Express in Kasba in the early hours of November 12.
Dhaka-bound Turna crashed into Chittagong-bound Udayan near Mondobagh Railway Station around 2:45am, according to railway and district administration officials.
The crash threw at least four bogies of Udayan Express off the tracks and left them in a mangled state, leading to the casualties. At least 200ft stretch of railway tracks was also damaged.
Train services between Dhaka, Chittagong, and Sylhet were suspended for nearly eight hours after the accident.
Ten passengers were killed on the spot, and six others died in hospitals while undergoing treatment. All of them were on Udayan Express.
The death toll increased to 18 earlier this week, when two of the injured died while undergoing treatment at the Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka and Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College and Hospital.
At least 25 people are still undergoing treatment in different hospitals.