Putul Begum, from Madartek from Dhaka, boarded the MV Abhijan-10 on Thursday evening to travel to her sister’s house in Barguna with at least seven family members for a vacation trip.
They had no idea that this joyous journey would soon turn into a horrible nightmare.
Around 3:00 am, a strong flame and the cries of frenzied passengers shake the deck of the ship. When Putul woke up, parts of her body were already burned.
With their lives on the line, jumping into the water seemed the more obvious choice. She jumped into the Sugandha River. The others too.
Last night, as she recounted the horror of the burns unit at Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital in Barishal, five members of her family were still missing.
She was traveling with her two children, her husband, her mother, her brother, her sister-in-law and their child.
Speaking to the Daily Star, she said they all slept on the first floor of the ship.
âSuddenly I heard a scream and saw the massive flame. I jumped into the river and others did the same. Later I was rescued and taken to the hospital,â she declared.
His mother Monowara, 65, sons Jibon, 12, and Emon, 5, sister-in-law Ruma, 20, and son Ahon, 5, had still not been found until the filing of this report. report around 7:00 p.m.
Putul’s husband, Russel, was sent to Dhaka for better treatment.
The tragic fire of the MV Abhijan-10 yesterday left at least 35 people dead. About 100 of them suffered burns.
Many others were still missing.
“JUMPED AND THEN DISAPPEARED”
As the charred vessel floated near the banks of the Sugandha River in Jhalakathi, many relatives gathered there yesterday to search for their loved ones even as firefighters carried out a rescue operation.
From the ship the lingering smoke still rose with a sharp burning smell. Scraps of clothes, bags and shoes littered the floor.
Harun Mia, of Barguna’s Kumarkhali, tried to no avail, but could not find her daughter Rimu, an undergraduate student at a college in Dhaka, and her 11-year-old grandson, Mudassin.
Sitting by the river, Harun couldn’t hold back his tears.
Rizia Begum, 65, from Burirchar union, said: âMy son Shahjahan (45) was a passenger on this speedboat. We talked at night, now I can’t find him. His cell phone is also switched off.
Ali Akbar, 55, from Dhalua village, said his grandson Sujan, 32, worked in a garment factory in Dhaka. He called him from the launch to let him know he was coming home.
“His cell phone has been off since the accident. God knows better [what happened],” he said.
Nasir Uddin of Taltoli upazila in Barguna said his mother, wife, two children and brother-in-law were returning home during the launch of Dhaka. “My wife Razia and my daughter Nusrat are still missing,” he told the Daily Star last night.
Taifa, 10, and his father Bashir Uddin were returning to their home in Barguna after treating their grandfather Ali Shikder, a cancer patient, in Dhaka.
Ali Shikder jumped into the river to save his life while Taifa and his father were stuck in the rowboat. Taifa was burned to death while her father was seriously injured. Her grandfather Ali Sikder is still missing.
Rasel, a day laborer from Dhalua de Barguna, said he was on board with his wife, two children and stepmother. He found his mother-in-law’s body, but his wife and children were still missing.
Some survivors of Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital said they could not yet locate family members.
Marzia, 10, said she was returning home to Betagi de Barguna, with her mother and sister. The trio jumped into the river together. Marzia was reunited with her mother in intensive care at the hospital, but her sister was still missing.
“WE WILL DIE TOGETHER”
Just before the tragic fire, a newlywed couple Al Amin Hawlader and his wife Sumaiya Begum discovered the scenic beauty of the Suganda River at midnight and could see the Barguna launch terminal, nearly a kilometer from the ship.
Sumaiya’s cousin Tuhin, his wife and two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Tabassum also slept on board.
Suddenly, the rowboat turned to a neighboring char. When they turned around, they saw a flame engulf the ship.
“People in panic and in a hurry were throwing their luggage overboard and jumping into the river. Suddenly the ship’s engine broke down and the tide washed it up in the middle of the river at high tide,” Al Amin said. .
“My wife and I came down to the bottom floor of the bridge and decided to jump. But she said she couldn’t swim … she said ‘if we live we will live together … if we die, we die together, âsaid the husband.
Sumaiya grabbed her husband’s waist and a bag to stay afloat. They floated on the river for an hour and a half until villagers, in a rubber dinghy, came to their aid.
“It’s like a dream that we have survived,” Al Amin said while being treated at Barguna General Hospital.
A team of firefighters rescued Sumaiya’s cousin and his wife. But their little baby is still missing.