DHAKA: In a tragic accident, at least 42 school children were killed and over 30 others missing after a truck carrying them plunged into a canal near Bangladesh’s southeastern port city of Chittagong today, police said.
The truck carrying an estimated 60 primary school children, aged between nine to 14, was returning home after a football match at a local stadium when it skidded off the road and landed into the canal at Mirresarai area, 240 kilometres southeast of the capital. The accident apparently occurred as the driver lost control of the vehicle.
“Police has confirmed that 27 bodies were in their custody or in hospital morgue while local residents said others were brought home by relatives,” a local journalist said.
The administrative chief of Maresrsarai sub-district said army troops and navy divers were called in to join rescuers as several more bodies were feared to be trapped inside the sunken vehicle.
Frequent road accidents have tarnished the image of Bangladesh in terms of road safety with a recent study by the Dhaka-based Accident Research Center saying that more than 12,000 people die in road accidents in the country every year.