Sunday, June 23, 2024

A Night of Terror: The Benapole Express Tragedy

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Fire on Benapole Express in Dhaka’s Gopi Bagh claims 4 lives. Firefighters extinguish flames by 10:20 pm. Reckless act mourned. (Benapole Express Tragedy)

In the busy area of Dhaka’s Gopi Bagh, a scary event took place. The Benapole Express, a train full of passengers, was caught in a huge fire. At 10 pm on that terrible Friday night, the fire service found a sad sight - a person who had lost their life to the ruthless fire.

The terror didn’t stop there. As the night went on, the fear grew. Brigadier General Md. Mine Uddin, the head of the Fire Service, confirmed our worst fears – the fire had taken three more lives.

The train, bringing passengers from Benapole, was close to its last stop, the Kamalapur railway station, when the disaster happened. Around 9 pm, a fire started, its dangerous flames quickly reaching several compartments. Syed Faiz Ahmed, a person who saw the scary event, told how locals, in a desperate attempt to survive, fought the flames with water.

But the fire was too strong. It wasn’t long before the fire service personnel arrived, joining the locals in their fight against the fire. It was found out that the fire was started by troublemakers who had set four compartments of the Benapole Express on fire. It took the combined efforts of eight fire service teams to finally put out the fire around 10:20 pm.

This event marked a sad milestone - a total of eight lives lost to train fires in the country since October 28. On December 19, the Mohanganj Express at Tejgaon station in the capital had been a victim of a similar act of arson. Three coaches were completely burned, and later, a heartbreaking discovery was made - the bodies of four people, including a mother and her child, were found in a compartment.

The Ministry of Railways reported a worrying trend – since October 28, during the strike-blockade, troublemakers had set fire to four trains and damaged railway lines across the country. In addition, 19 incidents of arson and 8 cocktail explosions had happened on railway lines. The nation held its breath, waiting for what might happen next in this scary saga. The echoes of the tragedy continue to be heard through the city, a haunting reminder of the lives lost and the fight for justice that lies ahead.

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