At least 17 people have been killed and more than 20 others injured in a bus crash in northern Bangladesh, police say. The passenger bus collided head on with a lorry at Shajahanpur in Bogra district, 100 miles (160km) north of the capital, Dhaka.
Bus accidents are common in Bangladesh where an estimated 10,000 people die in traffic-related accidents every year. Most are blamed on reckless driving, poor road conditions and old vehicles. There were some 40 passengers in the bus which was travelling from the capital Dhaka to the town of Joypurhat when the incident happened early on Thursday, police said.
“Eleven people, including four women, were killed on the spot, while the rest died in a local hospital. Some of the injured are in a critical condition,” senior police official Reaz Ahmed told the BBC.
The reason for the accident is not immediately clear, but some survivors blamed the driver. “The driver was going at high speed and driving recklessly on the highway. Many passengers told him to slow down but he did not listen. All of a sudden there was a big bang. I suffered multiple injuries in the accident and then I fainted,” Sirajul Islam, a 17-year-old passenger, told the BBC.
Local people blocked the highway connecting Dhaka and Bogra for a couple of hours after the incident, demanding punishment for those responsible for the crash.
Earlier this month at least 44 school children died after their vehicle crashed into a pond in Chittagong district in south-east of the country. Bangladesh has one of the highest fatality rates for road accidents in the world.
By Anbarasan Ethirajan BBC News, Dhaka