Dhaka: For nearly a week after the Al Ain crash, relatives and neighbours did not let her know her two sons had lost their lives in a fatal road accident in the UAE fearing because she might not be able to bear the news as she suffers from high blood pressure.
“But eventually we had to disclose to her the bad news as their bodies were set to arrive home [on Sunday],” said a neighbour of elderly Hasina Begum, who until Sunday dreamt her two sons would be reunited with her along with their expatriate father in Abu Dhabi next year.
Begum just wailed, castigating her fate while relatives and women from neighbouring households tried to console her for the death of her two sons, he both in their early 20s.
The bodies of the two brothers are set to return home later on Sunday as the first group of eight bodies would be flown to the southeastern port city of Chittagong.
Less than two weeks ago, Masood Rana, 22, was excited to join his elder brother’s company in Al Ain and work with him. It would be like a family reunion as their father, Mohammad Idris, in his late 50s, also works in Abu Dhabi.
Relatives at Uttar Sarta village in southeastern Chittagong said the two brothers and their father had plans to reunite with their mother next year while the family also purchased a piece of land to build a house.
The Al Ain crash ruined their dream sas the bodies of the two brothers returned home today when a Biman Bangladesh Airlines aircraft also carried home the bodies of six others from southeastern Bangladesh.
Nineteen Bangladeshis died in the terrible road crash. The two brothers were in the ill-fated bus as both were travelling to the worksite of a maintenance and contracting company which has a camp in the area.
Idris had secured employment for his younger son in the same company where his older son works as a site supervisor thinking the two brothers would live and work together and the three of them could earn a handsome amount and start a better life once they returned home.
Bangladesh newspapers earlier reported similar tragic tales of families of the other victims with most of them selling ancestral property. to cover the cost of going abroad.
Another victim of the crash was 45-year old Shahjahan Mollah, who preferred an overseas job despite his age. He took a loan of 300,000 takas (Dh13,776) from a private money lender at a high interest rate.
“The household job did not suit him . . . he was trying to return home but his employer was unwilling to relieve Shahjahan,” a fellow expatriate worker from same village in south-western Faridpur told mass circulation Prothom Alo newspaper as he returned home days ago on temporary leave.
The Janakantha newspaper reported he could pay back only one third of the amount he had borrowed.
Bangladesh’s Expatriate Welfare Ministry officials said each family of the Bangladeshi workers killed in the crash in Abu Dhabi would get Dh200,000 from the UAE authorities while the government in their home country would pay them another 235,000 takas.
“We expect the victims’ families would receive the compensations [from the UAE] in six months to one year on completion of all legal formalities,” expatriate welfare minister Khondker Mosharraf Hossain told newsmen earlier this week.
He said the repatriation would continue next week after the first flight carrying eight Bangladeshi arrives on February 10 while the cost of their repatriation will be borne by the company for which the men worked.