"We stayed at the Khoiyachora waterfalls in Mirsarai for about two hours. I left for home a little before 1pm. As we were all very tired, I fell asleep as soon as the microbus started. I woke up at a sudden loud noise – the train was pushing our microbus forward at the time. It felt as though the apocalypse was unleashed. By the time the train stopped, I looked around to find all my friends dead," Tasmir Hasan Hridoy, 18, one of the survivors of the brutal accident at Chattogram's Mirsarai, described the horror he went through.
"I can still hear that loud sound buzzing in my ears," Hridoy, who is undergoing treatment at the Chattogram Medical College Hospital's neurosurgery ward, told The Business Standard.
Hridoy is one of the survivors, who sustained severe injuries after their microbus was hit by a train at the Baratakia crossing at Mirsarai, Chattogram.
He is a student of a private polytechnic in Chattogram and a resident of Amanbazar area of Hathazari upazila.
Lucky Akhtar, Hridoy's mother, told The Business Standard, "Two days ago, he asked me for Tk1,000 to go on a picnic with his friends. Perhaps I should not have given him the money. Today my child is on the death bed."
Not only Hridoy, six others are battling for their lives at the Chattogram Medical College. All of them are between 15 and 18 years of age. Five of them are students of "R&J Coaching Centre" and one is a helper of the microbus.
Sajib took a loan to open the coaching centre
Ziabul Haque Sajib, 25, and Ridwan, 24, used to teach at a coaching centre called RCH in Amanbazar area. In February this year, they started a new coaching centre named "R&J Private Care '' at the Jugirhat area of Amanbazar with their name initials. Sajib's grocer father took a loan for him from a local cooperative to help his son start the coaching centre.
He wanted to support his family, but the dream died with him.
The "R&J Private Care" coaching centre took the SSC students of 2022 to the trip to Khoiyachora waterfalls. Four teachers including Sajib went on the trip and none of them survived. The other teachers are Rakib, Ridwan and Jisan.
Sajib's father Mohammad Hamid broke down in tears and said, "My son was bright and hard working."
Sarwar Hossain Khan, the uncle of Mustafa Mahmud Rakib, told The Business Standard, "Rakib was the eldest of my brother's two children. He was teaching at the coaching centre alongside his own studies."
Doctors said the condition of another victim, the microbus helper Tauqeer Ibn Shaon, was serious.
Taukeer's sister Ruma Begum told The Business Standard, "I have been raising him after his mother died. He was learning to drive. I talked with him in the morning and he told me on his way back he would bring home vegetables and daily necessities."
The train pushed the microbus for a kilometre
Kabir Hossain, officer-in-charge of Mirsarai Police Station, who visited the spot, told The Business Standard, "After hitting the tourist microbus, the train pushed the vehicle for about one kilometre from the accident site. The microbus was simply crushed. Clothes, shoes, bags and other items belonging to the students were scattered all over the place."
Kabir Hossain said they had to cut the vehicle to rescue the injured and take out the dead bodies.
Chattogram Medical College Hospital Neurosurgery Department assistant registrar Dr Mohammad Kamal Hossain told The Business Standard, "All the injured have serious head injuries. Many also suffered serious injuries to their eyes, hands and legs. We can say more about the condition of the injured after 24 hours."