Fire service and civil defence on Friday night called off its rescue operation at Naria in Shariatpur, with ten river erosion victims still missing since they were washed away on August 7.
‘The chances of finding the victims alive are slim after four days of our effort to rescue them,’ said Shariatpur fire service station’s deputy assistant director Niaz Ahmed.
‘We have decided to suspend the operation,’ Niaz said.
At least 40 people were swept away after the Padma River swallowed a part of Shadhur Bazar of Naria along with a jetty and seven business establishments, said Kedarpur union parishad acting chairman Sanaulla.
Fire service embarked on a rescue operation that struggled to deal with strong current in the river.
The missing people were identified as Mosharaf Chokdar, Jamal Chhaiyal, Mojibor Chhaiyal, Shahjahan Bepari, Rashid Howlader, Nachhir Howlader, Nachhir Karati, Sheikh Al Amin Hasan, Anto Mokdom, and Gupi Das.
‘Furious Padma was not satisfied sweeping people’s homes and belongings away. It devoured my father too,’ said Rana Das as he gave up on the hope of finding his missing father Gopi Das.
Kedarpur union parishad member Rafiq Kazi said the incident reminded the tragedy that unfolded last year through the drowning of three launches in the River Padma at Pangsha.
‘Those who had gone missing last year are still not found,’ said Rafiq.
River erosion generally occurs during rapid rise or fall in water levels. It is widespread in areas like Shariatpur during rainy season when rivers flood.
This year’s incident comes amid warning from Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre about Shariatpur and 24 other districts being hit by flooding in the second week of August.
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