Dhaka: About 300 passengers on board the Uttara Chilhati Express narrowly escaped a major accident on Saturday, thanks to the timely intervention by an alert gateman in Rajshahi district in northwest Bangladesh, railway officials said.

A major portion of the Boral Railway Bridge had caved in on Saturday, moments after a cargo train had crossed the structure.

However, the passenger train was steaming in on the same track.

Part of the bridge had collapsed soon after a cargo train crossed it while the passenger train behind was about to cross it, Rajshahi’s district’s Arani railway station master Sadrul Alam said.

Seeing the bridge collapse, a gateman named Layebuddin made a frantic dash towards the approaching passenger train with a red flag.

The driver of the Uttara Chilhati Express was about to cross the bridge, but the driver managed to stop the train on time after seeing the gateman’s red flag, Bangladesh railway’s regional general manager Ashim Kumar said.

Kumar said that two other trains, which were scheduled on that route, were stopped by railway officials.

As for the Layebuddin, Bangladesh rail authorities plan to reward him for his act of bravado and presence of mind.

We acknowledge the gateman’s efforts and plan to reward him soon, Kumar said, adding that efforts were currently on to repair part of the bridge that had caved in.

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