At least four people were killed after miscreants set fire on Benapole Express train in the capital’s Gopibag area on Friday night.
Khandaker Al Moin, director of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) legal and media wing, confirmed the matter while speaking to reporters on the spot.
The incident occurred just before the countrywide hartal, from Saturday morning to Monday morning, called by Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) as part of their ongoing movement to boycott the upcoming election slated for Sunday, January 7.
The train caught fire at 9:05 pm, said Talha Bin Zasim, station officer of Fire Service and Civil Defense.
On information, seven firefighting units rushed to the spot and brought the blaze under control around 10:20 pm, said Shahjahan Sikder, deputy assistant director of Fire Service and Civil Defence media cell.
The last two compartments, Cha and Chha, of the train were completely gutted, with its power-car partially burning, the official added. Firefighters are searching areas of the train where the fire originated.
Earlier, Fayez Ahmed, an eyewitness, said “The fire originated in the train in front of Gopibag kitchen market and spread to at least three compartments within a moment. Local people individually tried to douse the flame immediately before fire service men arrived.”
“At least two people have been brought out burned from the train. It’s still unclear whether more passengers are stuck inside or not,” he added.
Benapole Express, Train no 795-796, became the first train to run over the Padma Multipurpose Bridge on April, 2023. It is also the first modern train, which compartments were imported from China, in the route. The train connects the capital to the most important Benapole land port of the country.