At least 50 others have also been injured in the mad rush of people
At least five people died and 50 others injured while getting off from overcrowded ferries on the Padma River bank on Wednesday amid the homegoing rush of hundreds of thousands ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr.
Police said the deceased included a young boy, two women and two men. Only the boy was identified as Anisur Matbar, 15, son of Gias Uddin Matbar of Naria upazila of Shariatpur.
The deaths were reported in two separate incidents at the Banglabazar ferry terminal in Madaripur’s Sibchar upazila.
The incidents on two different ferries on the Shimulia-Banglabazar route occurred within a span of two hours, said Ashikur Rahman, a traffic police inspector posted at Banglabazar terminal.
Four people died in a stampede on the Enayetpuri ferry, which docked around 2pm. Earlier around 12 noon, when the Shah Paran ferry reached Banglabazar, one person had died in another stampede, he said.
Witnesses said, apart from the deaths of two men and two women on the Enayetpuri ferry, at least 20 others were also injured.
The Shah Paran Ro-Ro ferry which saw the death of teen Anisur, who was travelling with his family, had reportedly carried some 3,000 people from Munshiganj’s Shimulia to Banglabazar.
Many passengers said they had faced hurdles while boarding the already packed ferry at Shimulia.
They said the journey was very troublesome from the beginning amid the scorching summer heat as the passengers were forced to stand on the ferry due to the massive rush of Eid holidaymakers. Many fell sick immediately because of the excessive heat.
The rush of home-goers had started a week ago despite the fact that the government asked all to stay at their present locations to limit the spread of Covid-19, which has killed 12,045 people so far around the country.
Firefighters and police had rescued some 50 injured passengers from both scenes and took them to the Shibchar Upazila Health Complex and other local clinics.
Three of the people taken to the upazila health complex were in a critical state, officials said.
Meanwhile, Madaripur’s District Commissioner Rahima Khatun said they gave Tk20,000 to each of the families of the deceased as financial aid.