Several survivors are undergoing treatment at Nitor
Nazma Begum was going home to Chittagong with her family on Udayan Express, after enjoying a holiday in Sylhet, on that fateful night her world turned upside down.
The mother of two, waking up to chaos and a great deal of pain, found her two-year-old daughter Adiba Akter Chhowa critically wounded.
She took the little girl in her arms, trying to comfort her.
The child died on her mother’s lap shortly afterwards.
In shock, Nazma barely had any time to take stock of what was going on.
She was also quite injured, as were her husband Shohel, son Nafiz, and mother Ranu Begum, in a fatal train crash in Kasba upazila, Brahmanbaria around 2:45am on Tuesday, in which the Dhaka-bound Turna Nishita slammed into the tail end of Chittagong-bound Udayan Express, killing 16 passengers and injuring at least 70 others.
The family is currently undergoing treatment at the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (Nitor), commonly known as Pongu Hospital.
Trying to process her daughter’s death, Nazma now keeps her son close and worries about what lies in their future.
“My world crashed in the blink of an eye, and I don’t know what to do,” she told this correspondent yesterday.
Nazma suffered injuries in her legs, back and chest, Dr Md Jahangir Alam, orthopaedics professor at Nitor, told Dhaka Tribune, adding that she was recovering well.
Her husband also sustained injuries in his legs and has stomach ache, but his injuries are not serious; their son is out of danger too, the doctor said.
Her mother is admitted at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Dhaka.
Holding her son in her arms, Nazma said she and her husband worked in an RMG factory in Chittagong.
“We do not know how long it will take us to recover. Our job will not wait for us. How are we supposed to provide for our family?” She asked.
There are 10 others, injured in the crash, who are admitted at Nitor. They are: Suraiya Khatun, 70; her grandson Emon, 18; Firoza, 60; her daughter-in-law Shahida, 45; Shahida’s daughter Mitu, 21; Rojina Begum, 38, her son Hasan, 22; Abul Kalam, 52, his cousin Hasan Ali, 75, and Rayhan, 14.
Suraiya’s other grandson Sumon said they, along with his mother Jaheda, brother Emon, and sisters Sumi and Mim, were returning home from Sreemangal, Sylhet, where they had buried his father, who died in an accident in Chittagong.
He said while his grandmother and brother is at Nitor, his sister Sumi is admitted at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, and the other sister Mim is admitted at the CMH.
Only five days after the four siblings had lost their father, their mother died in the train crash. Sumon is now worried about what their future holds.
“The government promised to provide all kinds of support to us, yet I have to buy medicine for my family from outside the hospital,” Sumon told Dhaka Tribune.
Dr Jahangir Alam said Emon had leg injuries, but Suraiya was hurt the most, with injuries in her chest and legs.
“In her age, it will take time for her to heal,” he added.
Rojina Begum, along with her family, was returning to Chittagong on Udayan Express after attending a wedding in Sreemangal on Monday.
“I heard a loud sound, and then I couldn’t see anything. I do not remember much after that,” she told Dhaka Tribune.
She and her son survived, but her daughter, Farzana, who was preparing to sit the SSC exam next year, did not.
Speaking to Dhaka Tribune about the survivors, Dr Jahangir Alam said none of the patients were in immediate danger, but their recovery would take time.
“They have been through a major traumatic event; their condition may deteriorate,” he said. “We are working to provide them with our best treatment."