For a country that is looking to improve connectivity, we cannot afford such accidents caused due to carelessness and negligence
The derailment of the Upaban Express in Moulvibazar’s Kulaura upazila on Sunday night was a tragic accident -- leaving at least four people dead and close to 70 injured -- but it brings to the forefront yet another means of transportation in the country that the authorities need to have a long hard look at.
The derailment -- which occurred after a culvert it was crossing broke down -- has naturally shocked the entire nation.
However, as is unfortunately the case after any major calamity in Bangladesh occurs, this has brought about an overflow of reactions and hurling of blame across sectors.
As far as identifying the reasons for the accident, there seem to be three major factors: Overcrowding, operational glitches, and above all, weak tracks and misaligned wheels which showed an overall lack of maintenance.
While the train’s high speed at the time of derailment has also been touted as a possible factor, this ties in to how overcrowded the train was -- in a train which was supposed to include 12-14 compartments, the Upaban Express had 17 and had over 1,100 passengers.
In addition, the operational glitches, weak tracks, misaligned wheels, and lack of maintenance of the railway tracks and bridges display a lack of care on the part of the railway authorities.
For a country that is looking to improve connectivity -- as it scales the economic ladder, we cannot afford such accidents caused due to carelessness and negligence.