At least 20 people were killed and several others injured on Monday when a freight train hit a passenger train in Bangladesh's northeastern Kishoreganj district, officials said.
The accident took place when the freight train headed towards Chattogram hit the rear coaches of the Dhaka-bound Egarosindur Godhuli Express around 3.30 pm (local time) in Bhairab area of Kishoreganj district,some 60 kilometres of the capital Dhaka, Bhairab Railway Police Station duty officer Sirajul Islam told the media.
"Twenty bodies have been recovered so far. We are extending our all possible support to the rescue operations," an official of the elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion told reporters.
Fire service officials on the spot said three passenger carriages were upturned and feared many people were trapped under the dilapidated wagons though some 100 passengers were rescued with wounds and rushed to different health facilities.
"We expect to find more bodies as well as injured passengers during the rescue process," a fire service official told reporters at the scene.
A rescue train with cranes has left for the accident site.
Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence media chief Shahjahan Sikder said that over a dozen units of the fire service are conducting rescue operations.
"An initial report said that the freight train crashed into the Egaro Sindur from behind, striking two of the carriages," Anowar Hossain, superintendent of Dhaka Railway Police, was quoted as saying by the bdnews24 news portal.
Nazmul Islam, acting general manager (east) of Bangladesh Railway, said that the container train had disregarded a signal and rammed into the last three carriages of the passenger train, the Daily Star newspaper reported.
The locomaster, assistant locomaster, and guard of the freight train have been suspended.
Bangladesh Railway Director General Quamrul Ahsan said that they have taken the steps following the preliminary investigation.
Two separate committees have been formed to investigate the incident.