Sirajganj Train Derailment: Dhaka-Ishwardi rail connection restored 30 hrs after accident | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 16, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 07:03 AM, November 16, 2019

Sirajganj Train Derailment: Dhaka-Ishwardi rail connection restored 30 hrs after accident

Rail connection between Dhaka and Ishwardi was resumed yesterday, 30 hours after it was disrupted due to a rail accident in Sirajganj’s Ullapara upazila.

Abdullah Al Mamun, Paksey divisional transportation officer (DTO) of Bangladesh Railway, said both metre-gauge and broad-gauge lines was restored around 7:30pm.

The rail link that connects all the northern and southern districts with Dhaka was interrupted as Rangpur Express, a Rangpur-bound passenger train, derailed near Ullapara Railway Station Thursday afternoon.

Nine compartments of the train, including its engine and power car, were derailed and three of those caught fire. At least eight people were injured and rushed to the upazila health complex.

COMMITTEES START PROBES

Two probe committees, formed by Bangladesh Railway and Sirajganj district administration, started probing into the rail accident yesterday morning.

Paksey DTO Mamun, who heads the probe committee formed by Bangladesh Railway, said, “We started investigating the accident and checking if there was any fault in signal, pointing, engine, or coaches.”

He, however, did not disclose any findings. “We would not disclose further details before the probe ends,” he said.

Meanwhile, sources in Bangladesh Railway told The Daily Star that either wrong signals or flawed repair work of the rail line was behind the accident.

“Trains now operate digitally and loco-masters cannot change lines even if they want. Everything is digitally controlled from the station. Trains change lines only when signal is open and pointing is okayed by the station,” said a railway official, seeking anonymity.

Asked, Abdul Hamid, stationmaster of Ullapara Railway Station, denied the allegation and said, “There is no scope of making mistake as everything is controlled digitally.”

No official of Ullapara Railway Station made a mistake that could lead the train to the accident, he claimed.

About the allegation of the faulty repair work, Al-Fattah Md Masudur Rahman, chief engineer of railway west zone, said, “The small repairing work is a continuous process. We cannot clearly say if there was a fault in the repair work before the investigation finishes.”

‘WOULD CHECK IF IT WAS PLOTTED’

Nurul Islam Sujan, minister at the Ministry of Railways, yesterday visited the accident spot.

Anyone responsible for the accident, including railway officials, would be punished if proven guilty, he said while visiting the spot.

“We are also checking if it was plotted,” he said.

On Tuesday, another massive rail accident took place as Dhaka-bound Turna Nishita Express rammed Chattogram-bound Udayan Express at Mandobagh Railway Station in Kasba upazila of Brahmanbaria.

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