• Monday, Dec 09, 2019
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A tragedy that could have been avoided

  • Published at 12:04 am November 14th, 2019
Brahmanbaria train DT
Photo: Dhaka Tribune

What is needed is to address the root problem of negligence

We mourn the lives lost in Tuesday’s tragic railway collision in Brahmanbaria -- at least 16 people were found dead, while over 70 were injured, and we hope that the families of those who have departed receive all the support possible. 

However, based on preliminary investigation, it is evident that this disaster -- when Dhaka-bound Turna Nishita crashed into Chittagong-bound Udayan Express -- was entirely avoidable, and once again brings to light that ugly culture of negligence that pervades our society.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself has spoken out, ordering more alertness and vigilance to prevent recurrences of train crashes, and, while the lives that have been lost cannot be brought back, the PM’s words must be heeded with utmost seriousness to prevent such calamities in the future.

To that end, while better training of our railway staff is a commendable step to ensure that more skilled personnel are operating our trains, it is not enough to just increase their technical knowledge. 

No -- what is needed is to address the root problem of negligence, and to educate the railways staff on the value of being diligent and dutiful, while reminding them of the consequences of their behaviour, and just what is at stake.

Whether the obstruction on the tracks that caused the staff abroad the Turna Nishita to not notice the signal light, or the staff’s incompetence on the job that caused the collision, the fact of the matter is that many people are dead, and their lives cannot be brought back.

It is high time to make a change.