At least 19 people were killed and 25 injured after a speeding bus skidded off the road and fell into a ditch in Bangladesh on Sunday at 8 am (0200 GMT).
The police said that they expect the death toll to increase as many of the injured were in critical condition.
According to initial reports, the accident happened after the driver lost control and drove the Dhaka-bound bus into the railing of a recently built major expressway in Madaripur and as a result, it tumbled into a 30 feet (10 metres) ditch.
“The accident is believed to be due to reckless driving and mechanical failure of the bus,” bdnews24, a news portal quoted Madaripur Police Superintendent Md Masud Alam as saying.
According to media reports, the bus departed from Khulna’s Fultala bus counter at 4 am and en route to the Shibbari Royal Hotel intersection before leaving for Dhaka.
Three units of fire service are carrying out rescue work, Lima Khanam, duty officer of the Fire Service and Civil Defence Headquarters who is carrying rescue efforts, said.
The officials are yet to identify the dead and the injured.
Md Sabuj Khan, the counter man of the Shonadanga bus counter, told The Daily Star newspaper that the Emad Paribahan bus left for Dhaka with more than 43 passengers.
Madaripur Deputy Commissioner Dr Rahima Khaton told Dhaka Tribune newspaper that a probe will be launched to figure out why the accident took place.
Road accidents are common in Bangladesh due to old and badly maintained vehicles and roads, as well as poorly trained drivers.
A highway accident monitor said a record 9,951 people were killed in road accidents in Bangladesh last year.
(With inputs from agencies)
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