Of grief and resilience
The explosion at Sheema oxygen Plant in Chattogram's Sitakunda upazila has left the families of the victims grief-stricken and in deep shock. At the Chattogram Medical College and Hospital, where many of the injured were taken for treatment, the atmosphere is somber as family members wait anxiously for news of their loved ones.
Many have spent hours outside the hospital gates, praying for their loved ones to recover. The situation is especially difficult for those who have lost family members in the blast, which occurred on the night of March 3.
However, the hospital staffers have been trying their best to treat the injured, said the victim families. They have been working tirelessly to ensure that the patients receive the best possible care while also providing comfort and support to their families, they added.
The outpouring of support from the community has also been heartwarming. Many social organisations, including Gausia Committee Bangladesh have come together to donate blood, money and other essential supplies to the hospital.
The support has been a beacon of hope for the families of the victims.
'LIFE ENGULFED BY UNCERTAINTY'
Selim Richil was the only earning member of his four-member family.
Hailing from Netrakona, Selim worked at the filling section of Sheema Oxygen Plant in Sitakunda, Chattogram.
He was among the six people who were killed in an explosion at the plant Saturday afternoon. Selim passed away at Chittagong Medical College Hospital.
The family members came to the hospital and identified his body yesterday. This correspondent met Lily Marak, Selim's wife, at the hospital. She was sitting in front of the emergency department.
She wasn't in any condition to speak to this correspondent. She just kept staring at the wall in front of her. Maybe, she was thinking of her two children and what will happen to them.
According to Lily's relatives, Selim and Lily got married six years ago. Her father is a tea garden worker.
They used to live at Neptune tea garden in Fatickchhari, while Selim lived in a mess in Sitakunda, said Jharna Rema, one of their relatives.
TWO FIGHTING FOR LIFE AT CMCH
After being gravely hurt in Saturday's explosion, Probesh Lal Sharma, a 41-year-old compressor operator of the plant, is battling for his life in the intensive care unit at CMCH.
According to doctors, he experienced a head injury and had surgery at CMCH. His condition is very critical, they added.
Probesh, a father of two, is from the Sitakunda's Bhatiari union.
"My husband's health is not good. I have no idea what will happen now. He is our only source of income; my daughter is in sixth grade and my son is an HSC student," she said.
Probesh's brother Nayan Sharma claimed that despite working for Seema Oxygen Plant for 20 years, no one from the company visited his brother in CMCH.
"The factory has not offered us any assistance. We received Tk 7,500 from the district administration, but we have already spent more than Tk 50,000 on medicine and other necessities."
Another injured from the blast is Masudul Alam.
Contacted, Prof Dr Harun-ur-Roshid, head of the ICU at CMCH, said that Probesh's condition is critical while Masudul's is slightly better.
Masudul's right leg was amputated, he said, adding, "Masudul underwent an operation at the hospital."
Meanwhile, six dead bodies were handed over to their families yesterday afternoon, said Sub-inspector Alauddin Talukder of CMCH Police Camp.
Each of the families have been given Tk 2,50,000 in cash and cheque by different government organisations, said Abul Bashar Muhammad Fakhruzzaman, deputy commissioner of Chattogram.
Deputy Minister for Education Muhibul Hasan Chowdhury handed over the cheque to the families of the deceased.
Besides, each of the injured people will be given Tk 50,000, he said.