9 killed as bridge collapses with microbus

9 killed as bridge collapses with microbus

Nine women from the same family, including three children, were killed when a microbus and an auto-rickshaw plunged into a canal after part of a dilapidated bridge collapsed at Haldia Bazar under Chaora union of Amtali Upazila in Barguna on Saturday.

The 16-year-old iron bridge was in a rickety condition for journeys while cautionary notices were given on several occasions to use it carefully and not to run several vehicles on the bridge at a time, said officials. 

All the victims were passengers and the driver of the microbus, who were on their way to a post-wedding ceremony.

A probe committee was formed in this regard.

Till filing the report at 8:00pm a joint rescue operation of the police, fire service and the district administration was ongoing to recover the vehicles from the canal.

The deceased are Rubaiyat Islam, 4, Tahiyat Mehjabin, 7, Tashfia Mubasshera Azad, 12, Raiti Khan, 22, Jakia, 35, Shahnaz Akhter, 35, Rubiya, 45, Farida Begum, 48, and Fatema, said Amtali police station officer-in-charge Kazi Sakhawat Hossain Tapu.

He also said that a total of 19 people were in the two vehicles and apart from the deceased people no one was admitted to the hospital.

Seven of the deceased were family members of Mahabubur Rahman Sabuj of Sahapara area of Bhadrasan union of Shibchar upazila in Madaripur while two were extended members of the family.

Mahabub was bringing the family to his cousin Humaira’s post-wedding reception ceremony while the accident took place on the bridge over the Chawra Haldia canal connecting Chawra with Haldia Bazar under the upazila.

Md Ashraful Alam, the upazila nirbahi officer of Amtali, said that the accident occurred at about 1:30pm.

‘After being taken to Amtali Upazila Health Complex, nine people who were in the microbus were pronounced dead,’ he said, adding that passengers in the auto-rickshaws managed to save their lives.

Barguna deputy commissioner Md Rafiqul Islam said at around 8:00pm that nine were killed, four rescued alive while no one remained missing.

The people in the microbus were coming from Madaripur to attend a ‘post-wedding reception’, he said.

The officer said that the microbus driver was rescued alive from the spot.

After the accident it was seen that the middle of the bridge collapsed into the canal.

‘The bridge was constructed by the Local Government Engineering Department in 2008 and was in a rickety condition,’ Rafiqul Islam said, adding that notices were given several times to use the bridge carefully.

He also said that a five-member committee had been formed asking it to submit its report in seven days.

Amtali upazila chairman MA Kader, also a relative of the victims, said that by 9:00pm all bodies were handed over to the families.

He also said that they would not file any case.

‘Time to time we asked the authorities to repair the bridge,’ he said, adding, ‘Recently slight repair works had been done on the bridge instead of heavy repairing.’

Both from the Madaripur and Barguna district administrations compensation would be given to the families of the victims while they had already informed the road transport and bridges ministry to give compensation to the road crash victims.

As most of the victims were coming from Shibchar of Madaripur to attend a marriage ceremony, their identities had not yet been confirmed, Amtali fire service station officer Noor Hossain said.

Fire service members of Barguna and Patuakhali, the police, the local administration and residents were seen working to rescue vehicles and missing people from the canal.