Four passengers of a microbus were killed and eight others injured when the CNG-run vehicle caught fire on being hit by a bus on Dhaka-Mawa highway in Sirajdikhan, Munshiganj yesterday morning.
Saiful Islam, assistant police superintendent of Munshiganj, identified three of the deceased as Russell, 32, Jabbar, 45, Tofazzal Hossain, 45, and driver Abu Taher, 38.
Russell was an activist of Bangladesh Chhatra League of Narayanganj’s Rupganj unit while Jabbara Jubo League worker.
Sources said the microbus was one of the vehicles in the motorcade of Abdul Hye, the newly appointed district administrator of Narayanganj. Along with his supporters, Hye was going to Tungipara of Gopalganj in the morning for offering prayers at the grave of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The microbuse caught fire with a bang after it was hit by a bus from behind in Nimtola area around 8:40am, said Mehedi Hassan, officer-in-charge (investigation) of Sirajdikhan Police Station.
Nine passengers including Tofazzal managed to come out of the burning microbus. The charred bodies of Russell, Jabbar and the driver were recovered from the vehicle later, the OC said.
Tofazzal succumbed to his injuries after he was admitted to a hospital in Sreenagar upazila of the district, he added.
Of the injured, Awami League activist Shamsul Haque, 50, was admitted to the burns unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital in a critical condition.
Injured Momen Bhuiyan, 28, Md Golam Mawla, 40, Md Sultan Bhuiyan, 48, Nasir Uddin, 42, Hafizuddin Bhuiyan Sabu, 40, Samiruddin, 45, and Komol Bhuiyan, 45, were rushed to another hospital in the capital.
Abdul Hye, who was unhurt, said the Tungipara programme has been postponed.
Police initially suspected that there was a gas cylinder explosion. But later it was confirmed that the fire started due to a technical fault, said Munshiganj Police Superintendent Md Shafiqul Islam.
On information, Gazi Dastogir, Awami League lawmaker from Rupganj constituency, rushed to the spot.
Vehicular movement on the highway remained suspended for around 50 minutes till 9:30am following the explosion, causing severe traffic congestion.
Police seized the bus but its driver managed to escape, ASP Saiful Islam said. The bodies were handed over to relatives.