At least 19 killed, 25 others injured in Bangladesh bus accident
At least 19 people were killed and 25 others injured when a speeding bus veered off a major expressway in Bangladesh and plunged into a ditch Sunday, police said.
“The death toll has climbed to 19. At least 12 people were critically injured. They have been sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital in the capital,” local police chief Masud Alam told the Agence France-Presse (AFP) after the crash in the southern district of Shibchar, around 80 kilometers away from the capital Dhaka.
That toll could rise further as some of the injured passengers are in critical condition, said another local police official, Anowar Hossain.
The bus, carrying more than 40 passengers, fell about 9 meters (30 feet) into a roadside ditch after breaking through the railing of the newly-built Padma river bridge expressway, Hossain said.
The driver, who was killed, appeared to have lost control of the vehicle at 8:00 am (0200 GMT) after the tire of the bus burst, he said, adding that the cause of the accident was under investigation.
Road accidents are common in Bangladesh, often blamed on reckless driving, old vehicles and poor safety rules, and killing thousands each year.
According to the Bangladeshi passengers’ welfare association, a record 9,951 people were killed in road accidents in Bangladesh last year.
In 2018, a series of massive student protests, sparked by the death of two teenagers, forced Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government to approve raising the maximum prison time to five years from three for causing death by rash driving.