Ripon Chandra Mallik, Madaripur Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2021-05-03 20:51:27 BdST
With public transportation suspended amidst a coronavirus lockdown but autorickshaws plying the roads, they reached Munshiganj’s Shimulia and took a speedboat ride with more than two dozen other passengers across the Padma river to Banglabazar pier in Madaripur’s Shibchar.
Some water transports are still operational during the ban while cargo vessels are allowed to run.
The speedboat reached near the pier in Shibchar and Aduri was hoping to get a last glimpse of her deceased mother. Then calamity struck. The boat hit a sand-laden cargo vessel.
Injured in the collision, Aduri was rushed to the hospital. Later she identified her family members among the bodies kept on the Dotara Government Primary School grounds near the Banglabazar pier.
“I’ve lost everything,” she said, weeping.
Aduri and the few other fortunate survivors blamed the speedboat driver for the accident, saying her was speeding “recklessly” right from the start of their trip.
The bulk carrier was anchored near the coast, they said.
A heart-breaking gloom filled the air as relatives rushed to the school premises looking for their loved ones. The local authorities were going through the IDs of the dead and passing the information on to the relatives.
Rahima Khatun, deputy commissioner of Madaripur district, has announced Tk 20,000 in compensation for each of the families of the dead.
Shibchar Police OC Miraz Hossain said the speedboat was carrying 32 passengers. Six survivors were hospitalised.
The authorities handed 17 bodies to relatives until evening.
They include Taher Mir, “Kawser”, Ruhul Amin, Ziaur Rahman and Sagar Sheikh.