Azizur Rahman, 35, a survivor, gives a first person account of the tragedy:

It was 2.25 p.m. on Monday afternoon when I boarded the ferry with the others after completing my routine work. I travel to Dhubri six days a week and earn some money assisting people in a bank and those involved in other financial work.

Tickets were issued to about 350 adult commuters on board. There were many women. There were also many children who were not issued tickets.

After sailing for nearly two hours and a half, we were about to reach the Medartari ferry ghat. As we were nearing the south bank of the Brahmaputra, the weather turned from bad to worse. The afternoon virtually turned into night. The cyclone struck suddenly and before I realised what was happening, the ferryboat was hurled in the air. It broke into several pieces the moment it touched the water. I only remember jumping into the water along with many others. I swam for a while, I don't remember how long, and managed to reach the bank safely.

I cannot describe in words what I saw. I have grown up travelling in this type of ferries from Medertary to Dhubri town across the Brahmaputra. However, I have never heard of, not to speak of experiencing myself, anything of this nature. There have been some mishaps involving small boats. But I have never heard of a ferry mishap. I still shudder every time I think of it. I am trying to forget the nightmare, but it still haunts me. I am afraid to venture on another journey by ferry. But I don't have an option.

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