19 die on roads


At least 19 people, including a child, were killed and 12 others injured in road accidents in four districts yesterday.

As Eid-ul-Fitr is just a few days away, almost all the highways have heavy traffic.

Of the dead, nine were in Sirajganj, seven in Sunamganj, two in Gazipur and one was in Natore.

Meanwhile, a non-government organisation — National Committee to Protect Shipping, Roads and Railways (NCPSRR) — yesterday said 1,890 people were killed and 3,543 others wounded in 1,792 road accidents in the first five months of this year across the country.In a press release, the NCPSRR said it got the figures after monitoring reports of 22 national dailies, 10 regional newspapers, and eight online news portals and news agencies.

NCPSRR General Secretary Ashis Kumar Dey in the release said they had identified 10 major reasons behind the rampant accidents.

The reasons include unhealthy competition among drivers, reckless driving, drivers and helpers running buses on contract, employing drivers without proper or no licence, lack of pedestrians’ awareness, and overloading and illegally overtaking.

Besides, driving for a long time without breaks, poor law enforcement regarding unfit vehicles, violation of traffic rules, increase in motorcycles and three-wheelers numbers on roads and highways, and carrying of passengers and goods in locally made motorised vehicles were also mentioned.

In Sirajganj yesterday, nine people were killed and three others injured as a bus heading for Pabna carrying homegoers collided head-on with a human haulier, locally known as laguna, in Boalia Bridge area under Ullapara upazila around 1:00pm.

The human haulier was on the wrong side of the road when the bus hit it at speed, said Dewan Kawshik Ahmed, officer-in-charge of Ullapara Police Station.

The human haulier fell into a roadside ditch. Eight of its passengers died on the spot and another one on the way to Sirajganj General Hospital, said the police official.

Eight of the dead were identified as Nur Islam, 45, Md Akhter, 42, Rezaul Karim, 35, Abdul Mannan, 45, Md Ali, 25, Sabuj, aged around 35, Joynuddin, 42, and Ahmadul, 22, of Ullapara upazila. The identity of the other could not be known im-mediately.

The injured were undergoing treatment at different hospitals, the OC added.

In Sunamganj, seven people were killed and five others wounded as a bus heading for Dhaka crashed into a laguna in Ganiganj area of Dakshin Sunamganj upazila early yesterday.

All the dead were laguna passengers. Six died on the scene while another died on the way to Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital, said Harunur Rashid Chowdhury, OC of Dakshin Sunamganj Police Station.

The dead were human haulier driver Noman Miah, 24, Sagar Ahmed, 15, Milon Miah, 16, Afzal Miah, 17, Rimendra Chandra Das, 22, Fazlul Karim, 30, and Shipon Kumar Saha, 33.

After the head-on collision, both the vehicles plunged into a roadside ditch, said the OC.

Newton Das Talukder, a local fire service official, said, “We think both the vehicles were running at high speed and drivers were probably feeling drowsy. These two factors might cause the accident.”

In Gazipur, two siblings died when their motorcycle hit a roadside tree in Tetulia Bypass area under Kapasia upazila. The rider was trying to let a bus overtake them.

The victims were Sobhan, 45, and Khorsed Alam, 30, of Phulbaria village in the upazila.

Quoting witnesses, victims’ father Abdur Rashid said the two went for Eid shopping at Kapasia Bazar. When they were returning home, their motorbike hit a roadside tree.

Both were critically wounded and they were rushed to Kapasia Upazila Health Complex where on-duty doctors declared them dead, he added.

In Natore, eight-year-old girl Mariya Tasnim, daughter of Abdul Jalil, died on the spot and four members of her family sustained injuries when a microbus carrying them hit a roadside tree at Mohisbhanga in Baraigram upazila around 11:00am yesterday.

Jalil, along with his family members, was going to his ancestral home at Bilbharat in Singra upazila to celebrate Eid, said Delwar Hossain, OC of Banpara Highway Police Station.

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