PUBAIL, BANGLADESH, Jan 16, Reuter: Dozens of families camped under open sky waiting to resume the search for relatives in Bangladesh’s worst train disaster which killed 120 people.

More than 1,000 people were injured when the two crowded trains crashed head-on at Pubail, 15 miles (24 km) from Dhaka on Sunday,

Officials said they feared the death toll might reach 200.

”This is hard to guess the ultimate death figure as many survivors are critically ill, “a Doctor at Dhaka Medical College Hospital said,

“Many people are missing, their fate still unknown,” according to an official at the railway control room, who asked not to be identified,

Railway officials said they had retrieved 73 bodies from the wreckage of four carriages. Other rescuers said nearly 50 bodies were taken away by villagers and relatives before the railway men had arrived.

Officials told reporters that the crash was apparently caused by faulty signaling but added that an inquiry had started.

Hazera Begum and her husband sifted through the rubble at the disaster scene looking for their only son who sells fruit on the trains.

“We have come a long way after a neighbor said he had seen the body of Aminul. But now we don’t find him.


Some people here say his body was taken away with many others by a truck,” she said,

As hospitals and clinics overflowed with the injured, Bangladesh red crescent society and other voluntary organizations appealed for blood donations.

President Hossain Mohammed Ershad announced that the families of the dead would be given 100,000 taka (3,000 U.S. dollars) each.

Article extracted from this publication >>  January 20, 1989