Vol. 5 Num 568 Sat. December 31, 2005  
Front Page

2 Petrobangla executives, wives killed in road crash
Their sons injured, 9 others die in 2 accidents

Thirteen people including two Petrobangla high officials and their spouses were killed and five others injured in two road accidents on Dhaka-Sylhet highway in the district yesterday morning.

The first accident claiming seven lives took place at around 4:30am at Chaitanya Bus Stand and the second killing the remaining six, including the Petrobangla officials, occurred at around 10:30am at Baghata in Sadar upazila.

Of the dead, Petrobangla Director (Planning) Quazi Shahidur Rahman, 45, and Senior General Manager MA Baset, 52, were on their way in a microbus from Dhaka to attend an annual general meeting (AGM) of Sylhet Gas Fields Company Ltd at Khadimnagar Resort in Sylhet.

The 10:30am mishap took place when a lorry (Jessore Ta-05-0057) running in the opposite direction veered and rammed into the Petrobangla microbus (Dhaka Metro Cha-14-1209).

Witnesses said the truck speeding along the wrong side of the road hit a rickshaw-van first and then crashed into the microbus, which caught fire immediately and its CNG cylinder blew up.

Shahidur Rahman, his wife Nasreen Shahid, Baset, his wife Mahfuza Baset, and driver of the vehicle Kismat Ali died on the spot.

The two other passengers in the microbus, Shahidur Rahman's 8-year-old son Nihad Nahian and Baset's son Nyme Ahmed Amit, 15, were severely injured.

The rickshaw-van-puller hit by the lorry also died and three people riding in the truck -- Hazrat Ali, 40, Yakub Ali, 30, and Abdur Rashid, 35, -- were wounded in the accident.

The injured were sent to the orthopaedics hospital in Dhaka. Doctors said Nahin and Amit were out of danger but they will have to go through several surgeries.

The AGM scheduled to begin at 7:30pm yesterday with Finance Minister M Saifur Rahman as the chief guest was postponed due to the accident, BDNEWS said.

Energy Adviser Mahmudur Rahman and Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation (Petrobangla) Chairman Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, who were in Sylhet to attend the AGM, rushed to Narsingdi on hearing the news. A number of colleagues, who hastened to the accident spot, brought the bodies of Shahidur, Baset and their wives to Dhaka.

Shahidur, a former student of Jhenidah Cadet College, was also working as a director of Bangladesh Petroleum Institute, besides his main duty as the Petrobangla director (Planning).

Baset, a former managing director of Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Ltd (Bapex) and Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd, was attached to the office of the Petrobangla chairman.

Both of them graduated from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology.

Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and former state minister for energy AKM Mosharraf Hossain, among others, expressed condolences at the misfortune.

In the earlier accident at 4:30am, seven people were killed when the microbus they were riding in crashed into a lorry parked at Chaitanya Bus Stand on the highway.

The police said the microbus driver lost control amid a dense fog and hit the lorry from behind, killing six of the seven passengers and himself on the spot.

The dead passengers were Imran, 35, Shah Suri, 32, Khurshid Alam, 28, Nizam Mia, 28, Mohan Mia, 32, and Rafiq Mia, 26, and the driver was identified as Suruj Mia, 45. They were returning to their village homes at Rasulpur in Sarail upazila of Brahmanbaria district after seeing some relations off at the hajj camp in Dhaka.

The lone surviving passenger, Noore Alam, was admitted to Narsingdi Sadar Hospital.

The police seized the lorry and the microbus, and sent the bodies to the hospital's morgue for autopsy. Two separate cases were filed.

Quazi Shahidur Rahman (L) and MA Baset (R)