At least 13 people were reportedly killed on Thursday when a truck conveying passengers during a nationwide coronavirus-related transport shutdown rammed into a roadside ditch in Northern Bangladesh, police said.
Police official Masudur Rahman said the truck, which was laden with iron rods, overturned after it rammed into the ditch in Gaibandha District, nearly 200 kilometres North of the capital, Dhaka.
Rahman added that the five wounded passengers were rushed to a local hospital.
“The passengers, mostly day labourers, chose the van as an alternative means of travel due to the fact that public transport has been suspended for nearly two months over the novel coronavirus pandemic,“ he said.
The nationwide transport shutdown was imposed on March 26, to stem the spread of the virus, which had been detected in 28,511 people, and had led to 408 deaths in the South Asian country.
Deaths from road accident are frequent in Bangladesh due to lax implementation of laws and the poor condition of roads.
According to the Bangladesh Passenger Welfare Association, a civic group, at least 7,855 people have been killed in more than 5,500 road crashes in 2019.