July 5, 2009 4:05:40 am
Chaos reigned at the Howrah General Hospital as bodies of the bus accident victims began to arrive. Locals and eye-witnesses were the initial rescuers who rushed about five of the injured to the hospital within an hour of the accident.
As bodies began arriving,the hospital authorities were caught unprepared,so much so that all eight bodies were kept on stretchers in the dressing room of the emergency ward of the hospital.
By 5:30 pm,eight bodies,among them two females,had reached the hospital. Within the next one hour,seven injured were brought in,two in critical condition who were admitted to the ITU.
Even three hours after the incident,neither the hospital authorities nor the police had a conclusive list of the dead.
They dont have a list of the dead and they are not allowing us to identify our relatives, said Saidul Islam Mollah,a resident of Panchpara in Sakrail who had come looking for his aunt and uncle.
My aunt and uncle were going to Howrah from where they were supposed to go to B C Roy polio clinic in Phoolbagan. They have not reached there. We fear the worst, he said.
The emergency ward was crowded with anxious relatives of the victims wanting to see if they were among the dead.
My brother is critically injured but we are not being allowed to meet him, said Ashish Barui,brother of the bus driver,Vivekananda Barui. While he was being brought here,he said the accident happened due to failure of the brakes, he added.
Subrata Chatterjee (57),a state government employee,reached the hospital and broke down. His 25-year-old son used to take the bus every day to teach at a coaching centre.
I cant find my son Surja Prasad. I tried calling him on his cell but it is switched off. The hospital cannot give me any information. They do not have a list of the dead and injured, he said amid tears. Our first priority is to identify the bodies and treat the injured. An investigation has been initiated by the police, said DM Sangamitra Ghosh.
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