Survivors remember huge tide swamping everything

Saturday, October 30, 2010

KAKDWIP - A huge tide, and then within a fraction of a second the whole world became dark for Ajmal Sheikh, 23, one of the survivors of the trawler tragedy in West Bengal Saturday.

The vessel capsized near the confluence of the Bay of Bengal and river Muriganga leaving 18 dead and more than 50 missing. “I only remember a big tide and then everything was blank. I had my son sitting beside me. But right now I don’t know where he is,” said Sheikh, who is still in a state of shock.

The situation is more or less the same for Fatima Bibi who doesn’t know where to find her husband and mother-in-law.

“I got married earlier this year. I was coming back from Hijli Sharif along with my husband and mother-in law. But I don’t know whether my husband and my mother-in law are dead or alive,” said Fatima, weeping inconsolably.

Hundreds of relatives of passengers thronged the Kakdwip sub-divisional hospital in search of their relatives.

“I have come here in search of my brother. He was coming from Hijli Sharif Dargah after offering prayers,” said Mastafa Ahmed. Many even queued up at the banks of Muriganga River with a hope that they would get at least some information. But their hopes were dashed when the officials decided to call off search operations in the evening and resume it at dawn Sunday.

“Search operations have been called off due to darkness and will resume tomorrow,” added chief secretary Samar Ghosh at the state secretariat Writers’ Buildings in Kolkata.

The trawler sailing to Kakdwip in South 24 Parganas from Hijli Sharif in East Midnapore district with around 150-250 passengers capsized Saturday morning.

About 50 people have been rescued so far, of whom 32 have been admitted to the Kakdwip sub-divisional hospital for treatment.

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