Authorities are still working to make the rail line operational
Train services between Sylhet and other parts of Bangladesh were disrupted on early Friday after tankers of an oil-laden train derailed in the Maijgaon area of Fenchuganj upazila, officials said.
Nine out of the 12 tankers of the train veered off the tracks around 12am, halting rail services on Sylhet-Dhaka and Sylhet-Chittagong routes, said Sylhet Railway Station Manager Khalilur Rahman.
Due to the derailment, the intercity Upaban Express from Dhaka became stuck at Kulaura and the Udayan Express from Chittagong at Srimangal. Besides, three other intercity trains have been cancelled, the station manager added.
An official of Fenchuganj railway station said two relief trains from Kulaura and Akhaura and started rescue operations.
Maijgaon Railway Station Master Monir Hossain said rail communication would be normalized by 10pm.
Dulal Chandra Das, substation mechanical engineer at Kulaura Junction, said over 800 metres of railway lines have to be repaired as railway slippers in the area were removed in the accident.
“The derailed wagons were removed first and then the railway workers started repairing the track. So, it will take a few more hours for the railway line to become operational,” he added.
The oil spill caused by the derailment has caused panic in the area.
"Residents have already been evacuated from their homes," said Fenchuganj police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Md Shafayat Hossain.
Locals were seen looting the spilled oil with jars, buckets, plastic bowls, and cooking pots. The authorities failed to control the situation despite several attempts.
One of the residents of the area said: “The oil spilled on the ground is being wasted. We are only collecting that oil. It is better to take it home than to let it go to waste.”
A five-member probe body headed by Railway Divisional Transport Officer Khairul Islam has been formed to find the cause of the incident, Sylhet Railway Divisional Manager Md Sadeq confirmed to Dhaka Tribune.
He said the investigation report will be submitted within three days.
Asking to remain anonymous, a railway official said the accident must have been caused by a defect in the line as it is the dry season.
The probe committee will be able to reveal the actual reason behind the accident after investigation, he added.