Bangladesh trains collide, killing 17, wounding scores -police

DHAKA (Reuters) -At least 17 people were killed and scores injured on Monday after two trains collided in eastern Bangladesh, police said.

A passenger train crashed into a freight train in Bhairab, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) northeast of the capital Dhaka.

“Seventeen bodies have been recovered and many injured taken to hospital,” said Anowar Hossain, superintendent of Dhaka Railway Police, adding the death toll could climb as rescue operations were ongoing.

The freight train smashed into the passenger train from behind, crumpling two coaches, he said.

“Initial reports suggest the freight train broke the signal, leading to the tragedy,” Hossain said.

Authorities have launched a formal investigation.

“Many people got trapped inside after the collision. When it happened, most of the people died then,” Mohammad Masud, local fire service chief, told reporters.

Train accidents are not uncommon in Bangladesh, mostly attributed to unsupervised rail crossings, poor signalling and track conditions.

(Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Chris Reese)