The accident occurred at about 0645 hrs (local time) as the drowsing driver lost control over the steering, police said. The bus overturned and fell on rail tracks, according to the injured passengers. Sixteen people died on the spot and one on way to hospital. Survivors said the passengers were mostly day farm labourers. They were coming from poverty-stricken northern Bhurungamari sub-district of Kurigram District for cutting paddy in Dhaka, Narshingdhi and other adjacent districts.
The accident was the second in three days time in the same district. On Wednesday, 17 people were killed and 21 injured when their bus crashed into a train at Rajabari in Kalihati sub-district of Tangail district.