Riya Akter Moni was waiting in front of the morgue at Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital with her husband when the bodies of her mother, aunt, niece, nephew and father-in-law were stretchered out.
“Did I get married to see these bodies? That’s what’s hurting,” she said, weeping with her hands still adorned with henna and arms wrapped around her newlywed husband Rezaul Karim Hridoy.
The two got married on Saturday and were travelling to Riya’s home in Ashulia from Kaola on Monday with some members of their family in a car.
Her father-in-law Rubel was driving the car with Hridoy seated beside him. Riya’s mother Fahima, 40, aunt Jharna, 28, and two children Jannat, 6, and Zakaria, 2, were in the backseat with her when tragedy struck. All have been identified with a single name, for now.
A girder lifted by a crane of the Bus Rapid Transit Project came down on the car at Uttara’s Jashimuddin road, killing the five on the spot while the couple miraculously survived.
Rescuers cut through the car’s window and pulled them out but the bodies remained trapped before the girder was removed hours later.
“The girder was dangling for a while and [Rubel] slowed down. But when he saw several cars pass under it, Rubel had a look at it again and tried to proceed…,” Riya said.
“[Rubel] was being a sport with my mom and aunt in the car and the kids were playing by themselves.”
Riya heard a loud noise when the girder fell on them and the rest was a haze. Once she regained consciousness, she found herself at the hospital. Still gripped with shock over the incident, Riya did not want to talk anymore, and neither did Hridoy.
Rubel’s body was taken to Manikganj for funeral prayers before he is buried in Meherpur. The others were taken to Jamalpur. At that point, the couple split up as Hridoy went with his father’s body while Riya with his mother’s.
CRANE OPERATOR ON THE RUN
The crane operator responsible for the mishap, identified as Al Amin Hossain Hridoy, has not been detained.
Dhaka Metropolitan’s Uttara unit Deputy Commisioner Morshed Alam said Al Amin was from Munshiganj. “We're keeping an eye out for Hridoy and will soon be able to bring him to justice.”
Mohammad Mohsin, chief of Uttara West Police, said: “We hope to deliver results very soon.”
The Detective Branch of DMP and Rapid Action Battalion are also on the hunt for Al Amin.
A case was filed at Uttara West Police Station over the incident accusing the crane operator, the Chinese contractor company and unnamed people responsible for security.