At least 10 people were killed and 31 others injured in a head-on collision between two passenger buses on Dhaka-Khulna highway at Basantapur in Rajbari early yesterday.
The injured passengers were undergoing treatment at Faridpur Medical College Hospital (FMCH) and Rajbari Sadar Hospital. Bodies of the victims were kept at the FMCH morgue.
Soon after the accident, people put up barricade, protesting frequent accidents in Basantapur and traffic came to a standstill for close to two hours on the highway.
The accident occurred as a Barisal-bound bus of Global Paribahan from Dhaka collided face-to-face with a bus of Eagle Paribahan from Khulna around 4:15am, said Ashraful Alam, assistant superintendent of highway police.
The impact caused the bus of Eagle Paribahan to plunge into a roadside ditch while the other bus moved crosswise, blocking the highway.
Police later towed the bus away to restore regular traffic on the highway.
Eight passengers died on the spot, Ashraful said, adding that 33 injured were rushed to Rajbari Sadar Hospital and FMCH, where two succumbed to their injuries in the morning.
Eight of the dead were identified as Babu Fakir, supervisor of Global Paribahan, its helper Mohammad Jewel, 35, passengers -- Poresh Roy, 52, Ratan Sarker, 52, Sakim Uddin, 16, Nasima Khatun, 28, and her three-month old infant Jannat and Afsar Uddin, 35.
The identities of another woman and a male passenger could not be known till filing of this report at 10:00pm.
Two injured passengers remain in a critical condition, said Dr Ratan Kumar Saha, an associate professor of FMCH.
People withdrew the blockade on the highway after Hasanuzzaman Kollol, deputy commissioner of Rabari police, assured them of steps to reduce accidents at Basantapur point.
Locals claimed that a defect in road design had been causing frequent accidents at the spot.
Some injured passengers, who were undergoing treatment at Rajbari Sadar Hospital, blamed the driver of Eagle Paribahan for the mishap.
They alleged that the driver started dozing off soon after the bus had started from Khulna around 9:30pm on Thursday.
"We repeatedly requested the driver to leave the driving seat and get a fresh pair of eyes. But he ignored us and carried on," said Saidur Rahman lying on a hospital bed.
The drivers of both the buses, however, managed to flee after the accident.