Hadisur Rahman Arif's untimely death has left his family without an earning member, completely shattering their dreams.
The 47-year-old, a third engineer, was killed in a rocket attack on a Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) vessel stranded at a Ukrainian port on Wednesday.
Tarek, one of his brothers, told UNB that he had a chat with Hadisur just hours before the tragic news devastated the family.
"I could overhear the sounds of multiple explosions. We had a detailed conversation on how to go about the renovation of our family home," he recounted.
UNB visited Hadisur's family house in Betagi upazil on Thursday morning and found neighbours and relatives mourning his untimely demise.
"Our parents are in a state of shock. Hadisur told me clearly that he would return home soon. We urge the government to do what's needed to bring back his body," Tarek said.
Betagi upazila chairman Maksudur Rahman Forkan said, "Hadisur was a meritorious student who graduated from Chattogram Marine Academy."
Barguna's deputy commissioner Habibur Rahman and the local MP also visited Hadisur's house and expressed profound shock at his death. They assured the family of taking all steps to bring his body back.
Hadisur was on board bulk carrier Banglar Samriddhi when the rocket hit the vessel.
"The ship caught fire at 9.25pm (Bangladesh time, 5.25pm in Ukraine) as the rocket struck its bridge. The crew members were able to tame the flames immediately. But Hadisur lost his life," said Captain Md Anam Chowdhury, president of the Bangladesh Merchant Marine Officers' Association.
Amid the worrying development in Ukraine, Banglar Samriddhi got stuck at the Port of Olvia, located in the Mykolaiv region on the left bank of the Dnipro-Bug estuary on the northern Black Sea coast. All its 29 crew members are Bangladeshis.
Banglar Samriddhi had been anchored at the port before the Russian invasion began on February 24, Omar Faruque Tuhin, a crew member of the ship, told UNB over the phone on February 27.
"All activities at the port came to a screeching halt immediately and we got stuck on the ship. Panic has gripped us. We hear the sound of explosions and gunfire in the distance. Fortunately, the port has not yet come under direct attack."
Banglar Samriddhi, now caught in the fighting in Ukraine, reached Olvia on February 22 to load ball clay, according to the BSC.
As the conflict between Ukraine and Russia escalated, the BSC cancelled the plan and asked the master of the vessel to make his way towards international waters.
However, the bulk carrier failed to leave the port immediately due to a delay in getting port clearance and got stranded as Ukraine closed its seaports following the Russian invasion.
Earlier, Bangladesh asked its nationals stranded in Ukraine to contact the country's diplomatic missions in the neighbouring European countries while Poland and Romania came forward to provide temporary shelters for Bangladeshis.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday issued helpline numbers for the stranded Bangladeshi nationals to help them get into Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Moldova, all bordering Ukraine.
Around 400 Bangladeshis have safely crossed the Ukrainian border and reached Poland, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday night.
The government of Bangladesh is arranging their repatriation and is in touch with global organisations for their return home.
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