The bodies of a mother and her child, who she held tightly in her lap, are one of the final images from the blaze that engulfed the MV Abhijan launch at Sugandha River in Jhalakathi.
Championed in some quarters as a symbol of a mother's love, the dead bodies are more importantly a snapshot of the helplessness of those aboard the unfortunate vessel.
After a rescue team recovered the bodies, there were immediate gasps of astonishment. The two bodies were then kept in a single bag, instead of being separated.
This correspondent saw the bodies at the Mini Park of Jhalakathi. Other witnesses expressed how touched they were seeing the two, but the anger was also palpable.
"The mother tried to shield the child from the flames by holding the child in her lap. She might have struggled to save her child till her last breath," said Md Khalilur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Jhalakathi sadar Police station.
"I teared up seeing the dead bodies while they were being recovered from the launch. I can still see the scene floating before my eyes," said Akkas Shikder, secretary of Jhalakathi Press Club.
"I had seen some mothers screaming for their child to be saved while I was running from the burning launch," said Imam Mehedi, a student of class IV who managed to escape the flames.
"Some mothers were crying with their children in their laps, but they couldn't move because of the blaze," he said, adding he did not know how he was saved.
Many relatives of victims said that the mother and child were their family members. A number of women and children have been missing in the fire.
"I think the dead bodies could be my daughter and grandson who are still missing," said Hanufa Begum, who came from Barguna.
Both bodies were brought to Barguna on Friday night and buried there on Saturday.
According to Jhalakathi District Police, 37 passengers are still missing after the incident. The number of missing, however, is at least 54 people as per data from the Red Crescent Bangladesh district office.
Earlier, talking to The Business Standard, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) Chairman Commodore Golam Sadeq said the launch had proper fire safety equipment at its disposal.
"However, they were not used due to the crew's ignorance."
The passengers perished on Sugandha river of Jhalakathi district early Friday while the launch, carrying around 1,000 passengers, was going to Barguna from Dhaka.
A seven-member probe committee headed by Shipping Ministry's Joint Secretary Tofail Ahmed visited the spot and nearby villages. They also spoke to survivors.
"We are in talks with the surviving passengers of the launch. The committee will try to submit the probe report within the given deadline," Tofail Ahmed told the media.
He further said the vessel had carried more passengers than the launch owner suggested.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Integrated Water Resources Assessment committed Tk1.5 lakh in financial aid to the families of each of those killed in Friday's launch fire.