Passengers say overcrowding of Upaban Express might be the main reason behind the disaster in Moulvibazar that killed at least four people.
It has been learnt, the highway connecting Dhaka and Sylhet was suspended for the last three days because of a bridge collapse in Brahmanbaria.
Thus, train was the major mode of commute between Dhaka and Sylhet. This led to crowding in the Upaban Express, that left Dhaka last night.
“I was in the last carriage. It was overloaded and more than 30 people were standing in my compartment alone,” Humayun Kabir, computer instructor of Social Welfare Department in Sylhet, told The Daily Star this morning.
“The train departed on time at 10:00pm, but halted for an hour at Moglabazar station, just a couple of kilometers from Sylhet station, to cross inbound Kalni Express.”
“It started gaining speed after departing from Maijgaon Station in Fenchuganj and derailed while crossing a small bridge at Baramchal,” he told our Sylhet correspondent.
Sharif Hossain, a businessman from Chapainawabganj, said: “I was on the first derailed carriage and it was overcrowded as the road communication with Dhaka was cut off for the last couple of days.”
“I think, the excess speed of the train with overloaded compartments leads to the derailment,” he told The Daily Star.
Last reported, authorities had opened up Shahbazpur Bridge on Dhaka -Sylhet highway, a risky under-construction bridge, to reopen transport commute.