Eyewitness statements have shed more light on the horrific accident in Panchagarh’s Sadar Upazila that led to the deaths of ten people. A head-on collision occurred between a bus and a truck on the Panchagarh-Banglabandha Highway in the upazila’s Dasmile area around 7:45pm on Friday.
At least 20 other people, all bus passengers, were injured in the accident.
A five-member investigative committee led by Additional District Magistrate Ehetesham Reza has been formed to look into the cause of the accident, said Panchagarh Additional Deputy Commissioner (General) Mohammad Golam Azam. The team will have to submit its report within the next three days.
The son-in-law of Shawkin Ali, 67, was injured in the accident and is currently undergoing treatment at the Panchagarh Sadar Hospital.
“We heard the news from the locals and went to see,” Ali said. “The bus was completely destroyed. We pushed through the crowd and we could see that three to four of the bodies had been beheaded.”
“I had never seen anything like it in my entire life. It was hard to believe my eyes. It is hard to get the images out of my head.”
A Dui Bon Paribahan bus headed from Panchagarh to Tetulia had reached the Dasmile area when a truck carrying electricity poles from Bhajanpur crashed into it head-on.
The bus was heavily damaged and five were killed on the spot. Five others died after the injured were taken to the hospital, said Panchagarh Sadar Police OC Abu Akkas Ahmed.
The dead have been identified as Lovely Begum, 29, her son Yaseen Ali, 7, Rezaul, 22, Anitya Ray, 20, Yunus Ali, 28, and his nephew Monir Hossain, 6, Rasel, 20, Mozammel, 38, Faridul Islam, 30, and Rahela Begum, 25.
Sadekul Islam, 22, hails from Tetulia and was injured in the accident. He spoke to bdnews24.com while receiving treatment at the Panchagarh Sadar Hospital.
“I was standing around the middle of the bus,” he said. “A passenger was preparing to get off in the Dasmile area and I was going to take their seat. Suddenly I was thrown forward. When I regained consciousness there were three people on top of me. They did not react when I tried to move them off of me. Later I learned that they had all died.”
Ali Akbar, an eyewitness, said:
“I have seen accidents before, but nothing like this. Some of the heads were lying on the road, while the bodies were still inside the bus. I pray to Allah that nothing like this ever happens to anyone.”
A fire service official, on condition of anonymity, said that three bodies had been found decapitated.