Sixteen people were killed and nearly 60 others injured when two trains collided in eastern Bangladesh early on Tuesday November 12th, AFP reported, citing police.
"At least 16 people have been killed. And another 58 were injured. We have sent the injured to different hospitals in the region," local police chief Anisur Rahman told AFP.
The accident occurred when Dhaka-bound Turna Nishitha train hit the Chittagong-bound Udayan Express at 3:00 am (2100 GMT Monday) in Brahmanbaria, about 100 km (60 miles) east of Dhaka, as the Udayan was about to go through Mondobhog station, said Hayat ud Doula Khan, an official in Bahmanbaria district.
Cranes and other lifting gear were brought in to rescue trapped passengers, many of whom were asleep when the crash took place.
It remained unclear what caused the two trains to run on the same track. The Turna Nishitha should have waited outside the station to let the other train pass, Khan told AFP, adding that an investigation had been started.
The impact of the collision left several carriages severely damaged, and rescuers continued searching to reach passengers trapped inside, Khan said, warning the death toll could rise as search operations continue.
"Three coaches were badly mangled, and the victims are from these coaches," Khan said, adding that train services out of Dhaka had been paralysed due to the accident.
Train accidents are a frequent occurrence in Bangladesh and are often caused by poor signalling or other rundown infrastructure.
Pedestrians using mobile phones while crossing tracks, negligence by railway employees and poor maintenance of lines and bridges were the main cause of crashes, according to the Shipping and Communication Reporters Forum (SCRF), a private media research group.
Between January 1st and June 30th this year, at least 202 rail accidents took place in the South Asian country of 168 million people, where some of the track is a century old, the SCRF noted.
In June, five people were killed and 100 injured when a train plunged into a canal after the bridge it was crossing gave way.