Deadly girders of a rail bridge | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 13, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 13, 2012

Deadly girders of a rail bridge

200 roof passengers killed in last 10 years

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Koidanga railway bridge in Bhangura upazila of Pabna district remains a deathtrap, especially during festival holidays that see a large number of roof passengers, as there is only a little over one foot space between the upper structure of the girder and the roof of train.

Around two hundred train roof passengers died after being hit by the girders of Koidanaga rail bridge in Bhangura upazila under the district in last 10 years, railway sources said.
Roof passengers are often hit by the girders as height of Koidanaga rail bridge is 14 feet and 10 inches while that of a train is 13 feet, said Md Salim Rouf, bridge engineer of Pakshey Division under Bangladesh Railway.
“Travelling on the train roof is illegal but many passengers defy the rule and risk their own life, especially at the rail bridges with low height overhead. Such accidents increase due to the rush of passengers during festivals and holidays,” Sujit Kumar, divisional traffic officer of railway Pakshey Division, said.
Three train roof passengers died and three others were injured after being struck by the girder of Koidanga rail bridge on June 13. This is third of such incidents that claimed the life of eight train roof passengers in last six months, said sources of Sirajganj GRP police station.
“Unaware passengers often get on the train roof dodging our eyes. Such people face the risk of being hit by girders at Koidanga bridge, especially at night. At least 200 people died at the spot in last 10 years," said Md Laisur Rahman, officer in charge of GRP.
In reply to a question, bridge engineer Md Salim Rouf said there is no scope to remove or replace the girders of the bridge as the entire structure of the 80-year-old bridge is in a very strong condition and any attempt to change will badly weaken it.
Two local trains, two broad gauze trains bound for Khulna division, three for Rajshahi division, a broad gauze train bound for Nilphamari district and three meter gauze trains plying northern districts use Koidanaga bridge daily, Bhangura rail station sources said.

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