Train Collision in Bangladesh Leaves at Least 17 Dead

At least 17 people were killed when a passenger train and a freight train collided outside Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, during a busy holiday season.

The accident, in the Kishoreganj district, 45 miles east of the capital, also left over a 100 others wounded, officials said.

Sadiqur Rahman Sabuj, the chief administrative officer of Bhairab, where the accident occurred, said the passenger train was trying to switch tracks en route to Dhaka when a freight train headed in the opposite direction struck its last two coaches, which were packed with 300 passengers.

“As Bangladesh is celebrating Durga Puja, many are moving from city to city,” Mr. Sadiqur said, referring to a Hindu festival. “The death toll may rise further.”

Bipul Chandrashil, 52, who owns a hairdressing salon near the railway station where the accident occurred, said the train tracks were covered in blood and body parts.

“This is the largest accident I’ve ever seen in our area,” Mr. Chandrashil said.

Road and ferry accidents are frequent in Bangladesh, which has struggled to upgrade its infrastructure for the demands of its population of 170 million. There have been several deadly train accidents in recent years.

In July 2022, at least 11 people were killed when a train collided with a van in Chattogram, a southeastern district. In November 2019, at least 19 people were killed in a collision involving two trains in Brahmanbaria, also an eastern district.