Bangladeshi man is ‘about to lose’ a leg after ‘landmine blast’ at Myanmar border

The blast of what he says is a landmine comes amid fighting in Myanmar

Published : 17 Sept 2022, 08:37 PM
Updated : 17 Sept 2022, 08:37 PM

After his left leg was badly injured in a blast of what he said was a landmine along the border with Myanmar in Bandarban’s Naikkyangchhari, Onyo Thoai Tanchangya was admitted to Chattogram Medical College Hospital. Now the thought of a possible amputation has overshadowed the pain.

The family are staring at a bleak future as the 22-year-old man was their sole breadwinner. He earned money as a day labourer to buy food for his mother, a younger brother and sister.

“We don’t know what’ll happen to us if the condition of his leg gets bad” said his mother Yangme Tanchangya, a widow, as the doctors were preparing for surgery.

Onyo Thoai and three other people went to bring cattle from a field when the blast occurred at Tumbru in Ghumdhum on Friday morning. He was rushed to Kutupalong MSF Hospital and then to Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital before being transferred to the CMCH.

The family are among 60 to 70 others in the neighbourhood within half a kilometre from the border. Yangme said the residents are not very eager to abandon their homes even as fighting continues on the other side of the border.

“Does anyone abandon home no matter what happens?” asked Yangme.

Shells fired by the Myanmar forces targeting rebels have landed in Bangladesh’s Bandarban on several occasions in the past few weeks as fighting has intensified.

A teenaged Rohingya refugee boy died on Friday night in the latest round of shelling. The Myanmar military also violated Bangladesh’s airspace to launch airstrikes on the rebels.

Many Rohingya were injured in landmine blasts during the 2017 exodus. The Myanmar military and the Rohingya militants blamed each other for using mines along the border to stop the refugees from going back to Rakhine.

Ichhamong Tanchangya, Onyo Thoai’s uncle, said he was worried about the future of the family since they barely have any money for his treatment.

Dr Chandan Das, head of the hospital’s orthopaedic department, said they may cut off parts of Onyo Thoai’s leg from below the knee.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher