Three policemen were killed and three people injured as a train crashed into a police pickup at a level crossing in Sitakunda upazila of the district on Sunday.
The deceased were identified as constables Md Hossain, Mizanur Rahman and Eskandar Ali Mollah of Sitakunda Police Station.
The Chattogram-bound intercity train ‘Sonar Bangla Express’ from Dhaka hit the pickup at Fakirhat level crossing at Salimpur village, said officer-in-charge Tofayel Ahmed of Sitakunda Police Station.
The accident smashed the police van badly, leaving constable Mizanur dead on the spot and five other inmates injured.
The injured were taken to Chattogram Medical College Hospital (CMCH) where Hossain and Mizanur succumbed to their injuries immediately after admission, he said.
The rest of the injured -- sub-inspector Sujan Sharma, constable Samar Chandra Sutradhar and local UP member Shahadat Hossain-- were undergoing treatment at the CMCH, the OC added.
Police said the gateman at the crossing was absent during the accident while there was no barrier down at the railway track. Three shotguns were damaged completely while some bullets went missing in the accident, they said.
The train reached the Chattogram Railway Station safely after the accident, they said.
Meanwhile, the railway authorities suspended gateman Dipu and formed a four-member committee to investigate the accident.
Railway General Manager (East Zone) Jahangir Hossain told the Daily Sun that the gateman was suspended for dereliction of duty.
The committee was asked to submit the investigation report within seven working days, he said.
The committee, headed by Divisional Transportation Officer (DTO) Anisur Rahman, also includes Divisional Mechanical Engineer (Loco) Sazid Hasan, Divisional Engineer Md AH Mukul and Railway Nirapatta Bahini Commandant Rezwanur Rahman.
Thirteen people, mostly students, were killed and five others injured as a speedy train ploughed into their microbus at a level crossing near Baratakia Station in Mirsarai upazila of the district on July 29 last year.
Mahanagar Pravati Express bound to Chattogram from Dhaka rammed into the tourist microbus which went on the rail track when the gateman was absent.