Chittagong, Bangladesh: At Least 41 Students Killed In Crash After Football Game

11 Jul

NEWS UPDATE:

At least 31 children died in Bangladesh when a truck carrying schoolboys back from watching a football match crashed and flipped over into a water-filled ditch.

Bangladesh Lorry Crash Kills 44 Schoolboys

The driver lost control of the vehicle, which was overladen with about 50 boys aged between 10 and 15, at Mirershorai, which is 200km from port city Chittagong.

‘We can confirm the death of 31 children. The dead bodies are now in clinics,’ district police chief SA Morshed said. ‘We will have a mass funeral later this evening.’

District official Sayeed Kutub said many victims – mostly from local Abu Torab Primary School – had drowned after being stuck under the truck when it turned over into the ditch by the side of the road.

‘They were trapped under the sunken truck. It took us some time to turn it over. As a result, most died because of drowning in water. Six children seriously injured have been admitted in clinics,’ he said.

He added that the toll might increase because some badly injured children had been taken by their parents to nearby health centres before being counted by rescuers.

The boys were returning from a trip to support a team playing in a local football tournament in Mirershorai.

‘They hired the truck to travel home quickly. They were enjoying the ride and were celebrating because their team has won the tournament,’ said Foyez Ahmed, Chittagong district administrator.

Road accidents are common in Bangladesh and kill thousands of people each year. Shoddy highways, poorly maintained vehicles and drivers’ disregard for road safety are blamed for most fatalities.

A recent study by the Dhaka-based Accident Research Centre says that more than 12,000 people die in road accidents in Bangladesh every year, making the country’s highways among the deadliest in the world.

The country’s president Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed their sorrow at the ‘tragic’ deaths. Hasina ordered a quick rescue operation and proper treatment of the injured children.

——– 

CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh (Reuters) – At least 41 schoolboys were killed on Monday when a bus carrying them from a football match plunged off a hillside road near the Bangladesh port of Chiitagong, police said.

The accident happened at Mirresarai, 240 km (150 miles) southeast of the capital Dhaka, police said.

Forty-one bodies had been recovered and the death toll may go up as some passengers were feared trapped.

(Reporting by Nazimuddin Shamoyl in Chittagong; Writing by Serajul Islam Quadir; Editing by Nick Macfie)

(Created by Serajul Quadir)

NEWS UPDATE:

Map
At least 26 school children died after their vehicle crashed into a canal in south-east Bangladesh, police say.

A group of about 80 children was returning from a soccer tournament in an open truck when it skidded and fell into a canal, they say.

The accident took place in Chittagong district, 216km (136 miles) from the capital, Dhaka.

Officials said the toll is likely to rise as more bodies are feared to be trapped inside the sunken vehicle.

They say that the number of dead may be higher than officially recognised because the rescue operation is still ongoing and relatives of the dead may have taken away the bodies of their loved ones before an official count took place.

Earlier a senior police officer in Chittagong district, Ruhul Amin Siddiqui, told the BBC that 40 bodies had been recovered from the accident site.

“According to several witnesses the boys were singing and dancing on board the truck,” Associated Press quoted an official as saying.

Road accidents are common in Bangladesh where an estimated 12,000 people die in various traffic-related accidents every year.

Most are blamed on reckless driving, poor road conditions and old vehicles.

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