The accident occurred around 2:30pm on Monday
A freight train carrying furnace oil derailed and three of its wagons plunged into a canal from a rickety bridge in Hathazari of Chittagong, raising concerns about an oil spill into the Halda River.
The accident occurred around 2:30pm on Monday, near the Hathazari 100MW Peaking Power Station, the train's destination.
Bangladesh Railway (East Zone) Divisional Transport Officer, Md Nasir Uddin, said each wagon had 25 tons of furnace oil for the power station.
"A relief train is already on its way to conduct a rescue operation," he added.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Hathazari Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO), Ruhul Amin, said three wagons of a furnace oil-laden train fell into the Mora Khal canal when a bridge collapsed.
"Upon being informed, we rushed to the spot and put up makeshift dams to stem the flow of the oil spill," said the UNO.
Ruhul said they were able to confine the oil spill to a 2km area, constructing makeshift dams at key points of the canal.
The canal flows into the Halda Rivr, Bangladesh’s largest natural breeding ground for carp.
The accident happened at a time when different species of broodfish start migrating to the spawning grounds of the Halda from nearby rivers.
Abul Kalam, in-charge of Hathazari Fire Station, said the accident happened due to a rickety bridge collapsing under the weight of the freight train.
Previously, on June 19, 2015, a freight train carrying furnace oil derailed in Chittagong's Boalkhali upazila, sending two of its wagons into a canal. On July 9, 2014, another freight train derailed in Sitakunda, spilling around 21,255 gallons of crude oil into a canal.
Back in July 2013, another three wagons of an oil laden freight train also derailed at Baruapara in Boalkhali upazila, leading to an oil spill in the Karnaphuli River and other adjoining water bodies.