A speeding train slammed into another moving slowly through a station in eastern Bangladesh, killing as many as 19 people and injuring scores, according to officials and news reports.
The force of the impact threw the cars of one train on top of the other, and other cars veered off the track in the head-on collision. One express train was traveling from the capital, Dhaka, to the southern port city of Chittagong, while the other was making the reverse journey when they collided on Wednesday in Narsingdi district, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Dhaka.
Local news reports said signal error may have been the cause. "The engines and front cars of the trains turned into heaps of twisted metal," said Abdus Samad, a charity worker living near the station. "I saw people screaming and shouting for help." Railway officials fled the area after the crash as angry crowds descended on the station, according to Benazir Ahmed, another witness.
Soldiers joined police and firefighters in searching for people trapped in the wreckage, Bangladesh Railway spokeswomen Shirina Dilhur said.
"We don't have as yet a clear picture of casualties," she said. The United News of Bangladesh agency said at least 19 people died, while ATN Bangla television reported 10 dead and another 100 injured.
Abu Mohammad Sharif, an emergency official, said one train was moving slowly through the station in Narsingdi when the speeding train rammed into it.
Train accidents are common in Bangladesh because of poor signaling and rundown tracks.
In September, a speeding train plowed into two buses at a busy crossing in Dhaka, killing at least seven people and injuring dozens.