8 killed in Habiganj road crash

At least eight people, including a 2-year-old child, were killed after a bus of state-owned transport corporation BRTC hit two autorickshaws in Habiganj.

The accident occurred on the Dhaka-Sylhet Highway at Fultoli area in Nabiganj Upazila around 4:45pm on Monday.

Police identified the victims as – Sabirun, 35, her daughter Maria, 2, sister-in-law Salima Akter, 25, Antar Mia 18, autorickshaw driver Kitab Ali, Liza Akter, 17, and Liton Mia, 30.

The identity of the other victim could not be known immediately.

People injured in the accident have been taken to Sylhet Osmani Medical College Hospital. Ershadul Haq Bhuiya, the officer-in-charge of Sherpur Highway Police Station, said they fear the number of fatalities could rise.

Locals said a Sylhet-bound BRTC bus collided head-on with a Paniumda-bound autorickshaw and then hit another autorickshaw before falling into a roadside ditch.

Eight people, including drivers of the autorickshaws, were killed on the spot.

Locals joined police and firefighters in the rescue. Traffic on the busy road remained halted for about an hour.

The cause of the accident was not immediately clear. It was also unclear if anyone had been arrested over the accident or a case was filed.

Road accidents continue to rise in Bangladesh with the country seeing 439 deaths in 417 accidents last month, according to Road Safety Foundation (RSF), an organisation working to ensure safer roads.

RSF said 383 people were killed in 314 accidents in October last.

Nirapad Sarak Chai, a road safety advocacy group, in a report said that 5,227 people were killed in 4,702 road accidents in Bangladesh last year.

In a report released in February this year, the World Bank said Bangladesh needs to invest an estimated extra $7.8 billion over the next decade to halve its road crash fatalities.

The report pointed to the high death rate on Bangladesh’s roads caused by chronic lack of investment in systemic, targeted, and sustained road safety programmes.

Source: United News of Bangladesh