Of dresses and dolls, and a scar for life
The night before he left for Dhaka from Khulna, Rashed Sardar's daughters – nine-year-old Safa and five-year-old Sara – had asked him to bring back Eid outfits for them.
The little girls' wish, however, is never to come true as the Emad Paribahan bus that Rashed was traveling on fell into a ditch next to the Dhaka-Mawa-Bhanga Expressway yesterday morning, leaving their father and 18 others dead so far.
Rashed, a Dutch-Bangla Bank official working at Dhaka head office, boarded the bus to join work after attending his sister-in-law's funeral that was held on Friday.
"They [Rashed's daughters] had told him they would never speak to him again if he didn't bring back dresses and dolls for them. Now, they really will never be able to speak to him again …," Shafiqul Islam, father-in-law of the victim, told The Daily Star.
He urged the authorities to take steps to bring an end to reckless driving.
The bus left Khulna's Fultala bus counter at 4:00am for Dhaka with 43 passengers on board.
After the accident, 10 injured passengers were brought to Dhaka Medical College Hospital. Of them, two died on the way to hospital, while eight were undergoing treatment till the filing of this report at 8:00pm.
The deceased were identified as a supervisor of the bus Minhajur Rahman Biswas, 20, from Gopalganj, and passenger Sheikh Akabbar Ali, 65, from Bagerhat.
Minhaj was a college student in Gopalganj, said Saiful Islam, supervisor of another Emad Paribahan bus just 20 minutes behind the one that fell into the ditch.
"His [Minhaj's] father is a paralysis patient and his elder brother was unable to support the family of five alone. So, he used to work as a bus supervisor to support his own education," he told The Daily Star when he and the owner of Emad Paribahan came to receive the body from DMCH yesterday.
Saiful added, "As soon as we reached the spot, we found Minhaj and the driver Jahidul Islam dead."
He, however, claimed there were no technical issues in the bus. "It was drizzling since morning … However, I can't say why or how it fell into the ditch."
Akabbar, a retired madrasa teacher, boarded the bus with his son-in-law Jahangir Hossain to come to Dhaka for his cataract surgery.
While Akabbar died on the way to hospital, injured Jahangir was taken to Shibchar health Complex for treatment.