Khulna-bound train narrowly escapes accident
The Khulna-bound Simanta Express train narrowly escaped an accident in Domar upazila of Nilphamari on Wednesday night due to locals' intervention.
Unidentified people were caught unscrewing the fishplates on Chilahati-Parbotipur rail tracks in Bagdogra Prodhan para village around 9:45pm, said locals.
Fishplates are flat pieces of metal used to hold two sections of rails together.
Villagers heard the metallic sound and rushed to the spot to find some men unscrewing the clips in the dark, said Boragari Union Parishad Chairman Aminul Islam Rimun.
They chased the criminals away and recovered a sack containing unscrewed fishplates from the spot. Locals reported that 32 fishplates were recovered from the sack and fishplates of half a kilometre of the rail tracks were removed.
After chasing the criminals away, the locals noticed the approaching Simanta Express in the distance.
They lit lamps, and torches and waved cloths in the air to stop the train, said the UP chairman.
Hafizur Rahman, the guard of the train, said he noticed the crowd making various signals and stopped the train as a result.
"The train could have faced a fatal accident if not for the vigilance of the locals," he said, adding that he informed the authority who sent mechanics to repair the rail track.
The rail movement on the track was restored after one and a half hours.
The train was supposed to pass the spot earlier, but it departed Chilahati station two and a half hours later than scheduled due to adverse weather, said Ruhul Amin, station master of Chilahati station.
"We are investigating to ascertain whether it was a subversive activity or an incident of theft," said Farhat Ahmed, superintendent of railway police in the western zone at Saidpur.
"We will file a report based on the investigation findings," he added.
On Wednesday, one man died and several were injured in a train derailment in Gazipur after unidentified saboteurs removed a 20-foot section of rail near Bhawalgarh station north of the Joydebpur junction.