Sixty-year-old Abdur Rashid Bepari and his family members were on their way to Dhaka’s Kamrangirchar to have his son’s marriage registered yesterday.
As their microbus reached Shoalghar area of Munshiganj’s Sreenagar upazila around 2:00pm, a speedy bus collided head-on with it, leaving at least nine, including Rashid and five others of the family, dead on the spot.
Witnesses blamed reckless driving for the accident on the Dhaka-Mawa highway.
The groom, Rubel Hossain, his brother Sohel Bepari and their other family members were in another microbus that was trailing behind.
“There were 24 people in the bridal party. We had started in two microbuses from Rubel’s home in Kansar village [Munshiganj’s Louhajanj],” said Nazrul Islam, who was in the second microbus with Rubel.
“The other microbus was about a kilometre away when it was hit by the bus,” he said, adding that all their happiness turned into grief in a matter of moments.
The deceased were identified as Abdur Rashid Bepari, his daughter Liza, 22, Liza’s daughter Tabassum, 4, Rashid’s daughter-in-law Runa Akhter, 22, her son Tahsin, 3, Rashid’s niece Ranu, 12, their neighbours Mofizul, 30, Keramat Ali, 70, and microbus driver Billal.
All of them were in the same microbus.
The accident left 11 others injured. They were being treated at different hospitals in the capital.
Officer-in-Charge Hedaytul Islam Bhuiyan of Sreenagar Police Station said the Mawa-bound Swadhin Paribahan bus from Dhaka was running at a high speed when the accident happened.
Its driver and helper fled, the OC said, adding that both the vehicles were seized.
Police recovered the bodies and sent those to Sreenagar Upazila Health Complex.
After the accident, traffic movement on the busy highway remained halted for about half-an-hour.
Quoting a few bus passengers, Abdul Based, in-charge of Hashara Post of the Highway Police, however, said the bus had lost control before the collision.
Traffic Inspector (Mawa) Kawsar-e-Alam said the bus lost control after one of its tyres burst.
At their home in Munshiganj’s Kansar village, Rubel and his relatives were overcome with grief.
Nothing could console Sohel Bepari who lost his wife Runa and three-year-old son Tahsin.
“Everything ended in moments,” he wailed in front of his home.
The district administration gave the families of the dead Tk 20,000 each in compensation.
Mohammad Zayedul Alam, superintendent of police in Munshiganj, said the process of filing a case was underway.
A five-member team, headed by Additional Deputy Magistrate Asma Shahin, was formed to find out the cause of the accident, he added.