8 killed as bus veers off road
At least eight people -- five women and three children -- were killed and 30 others injured as a bus fell into a roadside ditch in Joypurhat Sadar upazila yesterday.
Besides, a police official was killed after a lorry ran him over in Narayanganj Bandar upazila.
In Joypurhat, a Dinajpur-bound bus from Bogura plunged into a roadside ditch after the driver lost control over the steering on Bogura-Joypurhat regional road in Sadar upazila around 1:30pm yesterday, said Mominul Haq, inspector (investigation) of Joypurhat Sadar Police Station.
The accident left eight people dead on the spot and 30 others injured, he said.
Six of the deceased were identified as Rebeka Sultana, 42, of Joypurhat's Kalai upazila, Homaira, 5, Zakia, 3, and Jahura Begum, 55, of the district's Panchbibi upazila, Tasnim 30, of Gaibandha's Palashbari upazila, and Ripa Murmu, 3, of Rangpur's Pirganj upazila.
Talking to The Daily Star at Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital in Bogura, survivor Md Aslam Hossain, of Duttabari village in Sirajganj Sadar upazila, narrated how the accident happened.
The bus, carrying around 42 passengers, left Charmatha area in Bogura for Hili of Dinajpur around 11:30am. Within one and a half hours, it reached Joypurhat's Bottoli area, Aslam said.
At that time, the driver looked at his watch and told his helper that he was lagging behind his schedule and he would have to arrive in Joypurhat town in seven minutes.
Following their conversation, the driver speeded up the vehicle and started reckless driving. Within five minutes, the bus crossed a narrow and small bridge abruptly near Baniapara police box in Joypurhat, Aslam said.
Just a few seconds after crossing the bridge, the driver lost his control over the steering and the bus fell into the roadside ditch and overturned, he added.
The driver and the helper of the MP Paribahan bus managed to flee the spot.
After the accident, police, firefighters and locals conducted a rescue operation.
Nur Nabi, a physician at Joypurhat Modern Hospital, said 30 injured were taken to the hospital. Of them, eight critically injured were referred to Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital.
Talking to this newspaper, Sirajul Islam, station master of Joypurhat fire service, said the accident might have happened due to over speeding.
In Narayanganj, Farid Ahmed, 38, a sub-inspector of Kanchpur Highway Police Station, was killed after a lorry ran him over on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway in Bandar upazila morning.
Rafiqul Islam, officer-in-charge of Bandar Police Station, said the Dhaka-bound lorry hit Farid in Malibagh area around 6:00am while he was on duty. He died on the spot.
The vehicle was seized, but the driver managed to flee.
Our correspondents in Dinajpur, Bogura, and Narayanganj contributed to this report.