Banashua railway bridge: A death trap?

UNB . Cumilla | Update:

The Banashua Bridge in Cumilla sadar upazila has no walkway. Photo: UNBFour people were crushed to death by trains on Banashua Bridge in Sadar upazila of Cumilla in a span of four days from 22 August, turning it into an apparent death trap.

The body of a Buddhist monk, Bikash Chakma, 50, from Khagrachhari was recovered from the Gumati river beneath the bridge on 25 August. He was believed to be hit by a train.

Two teenagers -- Swapnil Haque Aditya, 13, of Shasongachha, and Setu Roy, 14, of Dharmapur in Sadar upazila -- were killed as they were run over by a train on the bridge on 23 August.

Besides, the body of an unidentified man was found near the bridge on 22 August.

Police and railway sources have blamed various reasons for frequent accidents on the bridge.

They said the place is turning into a popular hang-out as many coffee shops have been set up on both banks of the Gumti River near the bridge, which has no walkway.

Some take to the railway bridge to save time while some cross it to have fun.

A young man waits as train crosses the Banashua Bridge in Cumilla sadar upazila. Photo: UNBBesides, there is a 45 degree turn on the south side of the bridge and bushes on both sides, making it impossible for those using the bridge to notice any approaching train.

There are also two roads on both sides of the bridge crossing the rail tracks. However, there are no gatemen there.

Cumilla Railway police camp in-charge sub-inspector Misbaul Alam Chowdhury said they wrote to the railway police super of Chattogram to this end.

Senior deputy assistant engineer of Cumilla railway Liakat Ali Majumder said walking along the rail line and bridge is illegal. “However, markets and houses are being constructed along the rail tracks, which lead to the accidents.”

He also said a new bridge will be constructed after demolishing the old one at Banashua will have a walkway. “We hope there’ll be no accident then.”

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