As Monira Begum started experiencing labour pains at her home in Dinajpur yesterday morning, her husband Mofazzal Hossain was overwhelmed with a feeling of joy tinged with nervousness at the thought of becoming a father for the first time.
Living far away in Dhaka because of work, Mofazzal immediately sent Monira, 23, to a local hospital with the help of their other family members.
As the doctors preferred a C-section for her, the family members, with Mofazzal's consent, decided to have it at Rangpur Medical College Hospital (RMCH) instead.
What was to be a joyous day for the family, however, turned out to be a tragic one as the ambulance, which was taking the expectant mother and her relatives to the hospital, rammed into a parked lorry in Paglapir area on Rangpur-Dinajpur highway.
Monira was killed on the spot. Her aunt Opia Begum, 55, and the ambulance driver's helper Tusher Mia, 27, died of their injuries later.
The baby could not be saved as well.
Monira's mother Sabura Begum, 60, her brother Jewel-ur-Rahman, 35, and ambulance driver Altab Hossain, 40, were severely injured in the accident that took place around noon yesterday. They were being treated at RMCH, said police.
Mofazzal, who works at a garment factory, rushed to his village in Baigari village of Birganj yesterday. Grief-stricken, he could hardly speak to this correspondent.
“I just wanted better treatment for my wife and my child. How could this happen to me?” he lamented.
SM Kibria, sub-inspector at Dhap Police Outpost in Rangpur, said the ambulance rammed the parked lorry, leaving Monira dead on the spot.
Locals rescued the others and rushed them to RMCH in critical condition. Opia and Tusher died later, he said.
Dr Salma at the RMCH emergency unit said the three injured were still in a bad condition.
Officer-in-Charge Babul Mia of Rangpur Sadar Police Station said they seized the ambulance.