Pankaj Karmakar from Munshiganj : Each time the divers came out of the thick, muddy waters empty handed, relatives of the missing persons wailed and beat their chests and foreheads with their hands. Their hope of seeing their loved ones ever again was fading away.
“My only prayer to the Almighty is that I get my mother’s body,” said Humayun, who lost his mother in Tuesday’s Meghna launch tragedy.
As the rescue workers suspended their search yesterday evening, desperate relatives were still waiting by the riverbank at Char Kishori.
“Empty stomach, I have been waiting for about 30 hours to get my brother’s body. Everyone is getting their dear ones, but I don’t know when my waiting will end,” said Md Ali of Shariatpur.
The disaster destroyed many families, said another man, who lost his brother, sister-in-law, and brother’s mother-in-law.
Jamaluddin of Sreenagar upazila in Munshiganj said the bodies of six of his relatives were found while five others remained missing.
His younger brother Kamal along with 14 other family members went to Shariatpur where Kamal would get married. The accident happened on their way to Dhaka after the wedding. Four of them managed to swim ashore, but the rest, including the newly married couple, drowned.
“I’ve lost my whole family,” cried Jamaluddin, as he kept hitting the ground in desperation.
Narrating the horrible moments, Rina Akhter, one of the survivors, said, “It was a nightmare. I felt a shock as our launch hit something and started sinking before I could understand what was going on.
“At one stage, I jumped into the river. A few minutes later I found a floating sack of dried chilli. Grabbing hold of it I waited for around half an hour. Later, some people from MV Mitali [another passenger launch that was coming from behind] rescued me.”