A woman has become the latest family member of a British family of five on holiday in Bangladesh to die from a suspected poisoning.
Samira Islam, 20, died on Friday after she was discovered unconscious in a locked room by police officers on July 26. Her father, Rafiqul Islam, 51, a taxi driver, and his 16-year-old son, Mahiqul, also died in the rented flat in the eastern city of Sylhet.
Samira Islam’s mother, Husnara, 45, and the older son, Sadiqul, 24, were being treated in the hospital and are said to be recovering well. They have since been released from the hospital, a source told the BBC.
The family, from the Riverside area of Cardiff, were on a two-month holiday visiting relatives in the country. After eating dinner on Monday July 25, the family was found unconscious the following day by relatives who raised the alarm having heard sounds from the flat and tried unsuccessfully to open the door.
“Our primary suspicion is that they were poisoned,” said Supt Farid Uddin, adding that all family members had slept in the same room, the doors were locked and there was no sign of forced entry.
Samira was previously in critical condition and on life support in the hospital. The police said they had collected samples to examine in a laboratory to better understand the cause of death.
“Our investigators are speaking with the relatives of the victims. So far we don’t think they have any enmity with anyone,” said Uddin.
Masudul Amin, the investigating officer, said: “We are also speaking with the relatives who were in the apartment and other residents of the building. No one has been detained or arrested in this murder.”
Those who knew the family in Cardiff were shocked and in disbelief following the news.
Muhibur Islam, an official at the Jalalia Mosque & Islamic Education Center, has known the family for many years. He described them as very well-liked in Riverside, the hub of a Bangladeshi community in Cardiff.
“It’s very terrible,” said Islam. “It’s very tragic, hard to take in.”
Islam said Rafiqul Islam’s mother and two siblings had flown to Bangladesh. “The circumstances are not clear. We’re praying that those who have survived will pull through,” he added. “We’re praying for them all.”
The family was described as “quiet” and “nice” and told to “do their own thing” by a neighbor who has lived near them for more than 25 years, and who asked to remain anonymous.
Kanaya Singh, a Labor councilor for Riverside, said everyone in the community he had talked to spoke highly of the family.
“There is also a great deal of concern because many people from Riverside go to Bangladesh on a regular basis. I hope that the authorities are able to get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible.”
On July 28 hundreds of people lined the streets of Sylhet for the funeral of Rafiqul and Mahiqul, according to the BBC.