In depths of despair

indepth

Trina was turning the pages of the books and notebooks her little brother used to read and write on. She sobbed and shuddered as she touched the pages, as if touching her brother who perished in Saturday’s road crash.
Her brother, Hasibul Hasan Nihad, a play group student, was among the eight schoolkids killed in Comilla when a truck hit their van on their way home. The kids were aged between seven and 10.
For Trina, barely 10, the loss is insufferable. The eldest of three siblings, she was on the school van with Nihad and her sister when the accident happened. She and the sister, Toma, survived.
“It is my bad luck that I could not give him some water, Toma could,” she burst into tears, recalling the moments before the accident when Nihad asked for some water while getting on the van.
The truck hit the van on the footpath on the wrong side at Monoharganj of Comilla around 1:30pm.
There is no pothole, curve or vision obstacle due to roadside bushes or trees that might have caused the accident.

The wreckage of the school van after it was rammed by a truck, still smouldering in the background, and tossed into a roadside field killing eight children. “So long Ma, ta ta” was written in the back of the van. Photo: Palash Khan

The wreckage of the school van after it was rammed by a truck, still smouldering in the background, and tossed into a roadside field killing eight children. “So long Ma, ta ta” was written in the back of the van. Photo: Palash Khan

Police are yet to identify the driver and the owner of the truck, or know if the driver had a licence.
Eyewitness Ambia Begum said there was no other vehicle on the road when the accident took place.
“Either the driver lost control or he was driving recklessly, which caused the mishap,” Mahbubur Rahman, superintendent of Comilla police, told The Daily Star yesterday.
Meanwhile, Monoharganj is mourning the deaths. Upazila Chairman Mohammad Elias Patwari declared a three-day mourning yesterday.
The children were laid to rest in their family graveyards on Saturday night.
The same night, Nasir Uddin, brother of deceased Fahadul Islam Mithun, filed a case accusing the unidentified truck driver of criminal conduct, police said.

Source: The Daily Star

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