Dhaka (The Daily Star/ANN) - Fifteen people including two journalists and a leader of ruling Awami League (AL) were killed in road accidents in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka and two districts yesterday.
Bibhas Chandra Saha, 46, chief crime reporter of English daily The Independent, was killed in the capital's Dhanmondi when a bus ran him over.
Witnesses said the bus rear-ended Bibhas' motorbike near just 200 yards off his office.
"First the bus hit him from the behind, throwing himm on the street. It later tried to escape and the left rear wheel went over his head," said tea stall owner Abdul Zabbar.
Bibhas' head was crushed along with the helmet he was wearing. He died on the spot.
Locals chased down the bus and vandalised it. The driver managed to flee but his helper was arrested.
Rushing to the spot, police had to fire three shots in the air to scare away the angry people, locals said.
Bibhas started his journalist career at The Independent as staff correspondent in February, 1996. He joined New Age, another English daily, in 2003 as senior staff correspondent and worked there until 2009. He retuned to The Independent as senior staff correspondent in 2010.
In his 15-year career as a journalist, he mainly worked as a crime reporter.
Bibhas left behind his wife Taposhi Saha and a host of relatives and well-wishers.
Photojournalist Shahiduzzaman Titu, 38, of local daily Matabad published from southern district Barisal died when a bus rear-ended his rickshaw near Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in the capital yesterday afternoon and then ran him over.
Shah Alam, officer-in-charge of Ramna Police Station, said a bus heading for Sadarghat hit the rickshaw from behind near the hotel, formerly Dhaka Sheraton Hotel, around 1:30 p.m..
Shahiduzzaman fell on the road after being hit. Wheels of the bus then crushed Shahiduzzaman's head.
According to his friends, Shahiduzzaman went to the capital on Wednesday for a job interview at a new newspaper and for medical treatment of his wife.
Shahiduzzaman started his journalism carrier at regional daily Sattya Sangbad in 2005 and later joined daily Matobad. He left behind his wife and a five-year-old son.
Police seized the bus right away and arrested driver Naimul Islam, 40. They sent the body to Dhaka Medical College morgue for an autopsy.
Eight including AL's Sylhet district unit senior vice-president Iftekhar Hossain Shamim were killed and 30 others injured when a truck collided head on with an intercity bus on Dhaka-Sylhet highway some 22 kilometres off Sylhet city, yesterday morning.
Wife and daughter of Shamim, who fought during the country's Liberation War, were also injured.
Al-Amin, officer-in-charge of Osmaninagar Police Station, told The Daily Star that the accident occurred around 5:30 a.m. when the stone-laden truck collided with the bus heading for Sylhet from Dhaka.
All the deceased were in the bus.
Of the dead victims, seven died on the spot while another one succumbed to his injuries at Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital, Al-Amin said.
The truck driver and his helper escaped arrest, the OC added.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday expressed deep shock at the death of the two journalists. She directed authorities concerned to arrest the guilty drivers and take necessary steps so that such accidents do not happen in the capital.
Five people, including four of a family, were killed when a truck rammed a rickshaw-van at Dhanghara on Gaibandha-Palashbari highway yesterday morning.
Mostafizur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Gaibandha Police Station, said a speeding truck rear-ended the rickshaw-van killing all four family members on the spot.