Rescuers watch in horror as man is burnt alive in train after arson attack

Some locals tried to rescue him, with half of his body still inside waist down, but the flames foiled their attempts

Golam Mortuza
Published : 5 Jan 2024, 08:35 PM
Updated : 5 Jan 2024, 08:35 PM

Photos and videos of a man apparently trying to get out of a burning coach of Benapole Express following an arson attack on the train in Dhaka have gone viral on social media, triggering calls for punishment of the arsonists.

Some locals tried to rescue him, with half of his body still inside waist down, but the flames deterred them while the victim was unable to get out himself.

Witnesses recounted the heartbreaking final words of the man as he was grieving for his wife and child who he saw were being burnt alive in the fire on Friday night.

Locals were terrified to see some carriages of the train from Jashore’s Benapole on fire during its entry into the capital through Sayedabad.

The driver stopped the train at Gopibagh, some two kilometres from its destination, the Kamalapur Railway Station.

The Fire Service and Civil Defence pulled out four bodies from three burnt coaches of the train.

They include the victim at the window, his wife, and child.

Masud Rana, a resident of Gopibagh, said he was asleep and woke up after another person called  to tell him that the train caught fire near his home.

“After I got out of my home, I saw a man stuck in a window of the ‘Cha’ compartment. I tried to drag him out,” said Masud.

“We broke the window glass, but that person said: ‘My child and wife have been burnt. I also have 90 percent of my body burnt.’”

“What’ll I do after getting out? What’s the point of me being alive?” the person in the train lamented, according to Masud.

Most of the carriage was already burnt by the time. The blaze was so huge that the rescuers had to back off after struggling with extreme temperatures of the mostly metal coach. Only buckets full of water were not enough to bring the flames under control.

“The train was so hot that we could not touch it. We tried to drag him out, but couldn’t,” said Masud.

The fire crews put out the fire later, but not before the family of three had perished.

Mohammad Ashraful was travelling to Dhaka because he had a flight to Dubai  to catch on Jan 9.

His passport, ticket and luggage were burnt in the fire.

“But my family have been saved,” said Ashraful.

He said he threw his child through the window and rescuers caught the child.

“My wife and the other son also found a way to get off the train. I jumped through the window.”

Ashraful said a policeman asked him to pull the chain to stop the train. “The policeman said the train caught fire. When I looked there, everything was covered in dark smoke.”