Abul Kalam was the first to notice a leg sticking out of the debris at Bahaddarhat. That is where a section — three girders — of a flyover under construction had collapsed in Chittagong.
He missed several heartbeats as he was looking for his 20-year-old nephew Sazzad Hossain, a mason.
The heavy concrete slab had completely severed the upper part of the body from the leg and buried it underneath.
Kalam took a few minutes to decide what he should do. He then proceeded to search the trouser pockets. He ended up finding a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card. And it confirmed that he had found his nephew. Or at least his leg.
“At first, we were not sure. But the SIM card confirmed that it was him when we put it into a cell phone,” said Kalam. There were phone numbers of his relatives on the SIM card, he found out.
The family, however, could not find the rest of Hossain’s body among the 11 that rescuers pulled out from under the girders that collapsed on Saturday.
Hossain had left home that evening for his regular evening session of chitchat with friends. He was sitting on the side of a pond beside the flyover as his friends had gone to attend the evening prayer.
The flyover came down right at that moment, Kalam said.
Hossain’s friends informed his family about him being buried under the flyover. Kalam, along with other relatives, hurried to the spot.
“We started searching for his body. We did not find it, except for the leg,” said Kalam. He is still waiting for the rest of his nephew.