Himachal ill-equipped to
help accident victims
Nov 7 (IANS) Authorities in Himachal Pradesh are not really
prepared to handle road accidents, say volunteers who helped
in the rescue operation in a bus accident in which 46 passengers
were killed last Tuesday.
large number of residents of nearby villages were the first
to reach the accident site - a 200-metre gorge in Fagu, about
25 km from here.
had a tough time extracting the victims from the bus as there
was no metal-cutting equipment. One passenger, who was crying
for help, couldn't be saved as he was trapped in a huge iron
block," said Jagir Singh Negi, a villager.
the bus rolled down the gorge, it was reduced to a mangled
mass of metal.
villager Narender Thakur said: "It's sad that we couldn't
save a person trapped under a rock as we did not have either
a ladder or a rope to reach the victim on time."
said even the fire-brigade personnel that reached almost one
hour after the accident did not have requisite infrastructure
to provide timely help to the victims.
of the administration and police officials reached the spot
an hour after the accident, eyewitnesses told IANS.
Tikam Negi said nearly 20 porters from the popular tourist
destination of Kufri reached the spot within 10 minutes of
the accident and rescued most of the passengers.
said there were no stretchers at the spot to lift the injured.
Most of the victims were bodily lifted.
rescued two children from the bushes and took them for first
aid but due to lack of medical help they died," he said.
said there was total chaos at the spot that hampered the rescue
The state of affairs was such that even doctors of the Indira
Gandhi Medical College conducted the post-mortem examinations
in the open.
was even shortage of coffins, what to talk about the medicines,"
said R.S. Negi, another volunteer.
Kondal of Damora village near Kumarsain, who reached the spot
to collect the bodies of seven residents of his village, said:
"For more than one hour, I had to really request each
and every motorist for help in taking the bodies to the village.
a taxi driver volunteered and transported the bodies to the
village free of cost."