Bangladesh train catches fire, five dead; police suspect sabotage

Some hooligans allegedly set the Benapole Express train, which was on its way to Dhaka from the western city of Jessore, on fire in Golapbag area of Sayedabad on Friday night

Bangadesh train fire

Dhaka (Bangladesh): At least five persons are believed to have died in a fire that engulfed a passenger train in Bangladesh on Friday. According to local media reports, some Indians were also travelling in the train, when the incident took place. Several people have been injured.

The police suspected an arson attack during unrest ahead of national elections. Police chief Anwar Hossain said, “We suspect the fire incident was an act of sabotage.” He, however, refrained from divulging details that hinted him about the sabotage.

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Reports said that some hooligans allegedly set the Benapole Express train on fire in Golapbag area of Sayedabad on Friday night. The train was on its way to Dhaka from the western city of Jessore. Local media reports said that a young man was killed while he was assisting other passengers to come out of the burning train compartments.

According to local fire service officer, four compartment of the Benapole Express had caught fire. Witnesses said the train caught fire at Gopibagh, in an old part of Dhaka not far from the megacity’s main rail terminal.

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A police officer said that they have recovered five bodies in charred conditions from the ill-fated train. “We have recovered five bodies,” police commander Khandaker Al Moin told the media.

The police and the government officials had claimed that the opposition party, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was behind the train fire. Earlier on December 19, BNP was accused for another train fire, which left four people dead.

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The BNP, had however, rejected involvement in that incident, saying it had been unfairly blamed as a pretext for a government crackdown on opposition parties.

Bangladesh will vote in national elections Sunday but the BNP and dozens of other parties have boycotted what they have described as a “sham” vote.

Thousands of opposition activists were arrested late last year after protest campaign demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

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