A couple of quick-thinking little boys have saved a freight train from a possible accident yesterday.
Shihab Hossain, 6, and Titon Islam, 7, are both from Jhina village in Rajshahi's Bagha upazila.
Around 9:00am, as the boys were playing in their village neighbourhood, they heard a strange noise as the Dhaka-bound Silkcity Express went past Jhina Railgate.
Out of curiosity, they went to the track after the train was gone, and saw one side of the lines was snapped.
Within minutes, they saw another Rajshahi-bound train approaching and realised that this one might not be as lucky as the last one.
Standing on the tracks, they started waving their warm clothes on air, signalling the locomotive driver to stop.
The freight of 32 fuel oil tankers from Khulna slowed down and stopped.
Driver Mohiul Alam said at first he thought the boys were playing.
“I decided not to stop. But I changed my mind as the children didn't go away from the tracks and kept on waving desperately,” he said.
The freight train resumed its journey to Rajshahi after the track was repaired two hours later.
Ashim Kumar Talukdar, divisional railway manager, said, “Two slippers under the track broke after the metal components holding them failed.”
He added that such damages on the tracks in winter were quite common.
“It occurs often when temperature drops. Low-quality materials and old tracks get more affected by the shrinking of metal objects in winter.”
He added that there are chances of an accident in such a situation.
“What the boys did is remarkable.”
He said railway authorities were yet to decide whether to officially recognise their act.
Shihab is a first grader and Titon is in class-II at Jhina Government Primary School.
Their parents said they were proud of their boys for acting responsibly.