• Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Tragedy marks Eid holidays

Road accidents, boat capsize claim 90 lives

Star Report

At least 90 people were killed in road accidents and boat capsize across the country over the last four days.

Of them, 68 died in road and river mishaps during the three-day Eid holiday between Monday and Wednesday.

Yesterday, the first day after the Eid holiday, road accidents claimed 11 lives while three incidents of boat capsize took another 11 lives. 

Over the last four days, more than 200 people were also injured in road crashes across the country. 

About half of those killed in road accidents met their tragic ends when the buses carrying them lost control and fell in roadside water bodies, according to our district correspondents.  

Last year, at least 52 people were killed in 122 road accidents across the country during Eid holiday.

In 2012 and 2011, the number of deaths was 42 and 38. In 2010, at least 63 people died and another 203 were injured in road crashes during Eid holiday.

The Daily Star analysis shows the year 2011 saw the lowest deaths over the past five years, as there were fewer accidents.

This year, at least 27 road accidents happened between Monday and Wednesday. On the Eid day alone, 26 people lost their lives in eight mishaps, according to our district correspondents.

In the capital, four people, including three pedestrians, were killed in road crashes in Rampura, Uttara and Mohakhali.

According to Prof Shamsul Hoque, former director of Accident Research Institute of Buet, road accidents increase by 2 to 2.5 times during Eid holidays compared to normal times.

 

"With more vehicles and pedestrians on the road, chances of accidents rise. Besides, vehicles such as passenger buses are usually jam-packed. So, even if the number of accidents remains the same, the number of deaths rises," he added.

According to police record, Prof Hoque said, on average 3,000 people die each year in road accidents across the country. But the World Bank and the World Health Organisation put the figure at 12,000 and 18,000.

Hoque stressed the need for proper design of roads and enforcement of traffic laws to cut road mishaps.

Of the three incidents of boat capsize, one happened on the Eid day, killing 12, including five children. Yesterday, eight people drowned in two other incidents.

On the Eid day in Kushtia, a joyful boat ride turned into a tragedy as the boat carrying 21 people capsized in the Padma river, reports out district correspondent.

The bodies of all the 12 victims were recovered by yesterday, said Syed Belal Hossain, deputy commissioner of Kushtia.

Yesterday, at least six people drowned and 16 others went missing as a boat capsized in the Jamuna around 10:00am.

The accident happened when a motorboat bound for Char Salimabad turned over with some 70 passengers at Chowhali upazila in Sirajganj.

A rescue operation is undergoing, said Chowhali Upazila Nirbahi Officer Abdullah.

The boat was overloaded and it capsized after hitting a pillar of a bridge, said Rezaul Haque, a witness.

In another incident, two people drowned and two others were injured as a small boat sank in a beel (water body) near Mariyal Belua village in Tongibari upazila yesterday, reports our Munshiganj correspondent.

In Sylhet, three people drowned after the boat carrying some 20 people capsized in Jaflong in the Piyan river in the afternoon.

Fire service divers recovered the bodies but three more people were still missing, police said.

Published: 12:03 am Friday, August 01, 2014

Last modified: 9:22 pm Friday, August 01, 2014

TAGS: road accidents Eid holidays Tragedy marks boat capsize across river mishaps

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