Andhra Pradesh

Visakhapatnam gas leak | Heart-rending scenes at hospitals

Children being treated at King George Hospital, Visakhapatnam on May 7, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

A little girl, about five years old, survived after treatment at a 30-bed hospital at Gopalapatnam. She looked around, perhaps not knowing what was happening as a doctor and nurse made her sit on a bed and her condition improved.

“Someone brought her here, placed her on the bed and left. We do not know who are her parents or relatives are. Her condition was critical when she was brought here. We managed to rescue her and now she is okay,” said the doctor treating her, even as he rushed to tend to another patient.

Many local youth rose to the occasion and rushed the sick to hospitals. Several ferried children and others to safer places on their two-wheelers and left them beside the highway about 5 km away. The little girl may have been brought by someone like that and her rescuer may have rushed back to help others. 

A young man with a handkerchief tied around his wrist, blood oozing out of it, was seen outside the hospital. “I broke a windowpane to rescue someone and in the process my wrist got cut in the process. Had we got the information a bit earlier, we [local youth] could have rescued more persons,” said the good Samaritan, who did not even wish to reveal his name. 

Similar scenes were witnessed at King George Hospital (KGH), where over 100 people have been shifted. 

The hospital witnessed a stream of ambulances, Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) buses and police vehicles ferrying the affected people. Despite the lockdown, even auto-rickshaws were seen carrying people.

“We just picked up unconscious people from their houses and those lying on the roads, and shifted them to hospitals. Many, including children, are separated from their families. We will unite them later,” said Police Inspector Raghuveer Vishnu.

Announcements were made on loudspeakers from the Sri Shirdi Sai Baba temple at Appayyanagar, about 5 km from the mishap site at around 9 a.m., asking people to remain indoors in view of the gas leakage.

Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA) Chairman Dronamraju Srinivas said Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy had directed the authorities to rush the affected persons to nearby private and corporate hospitals, apart from the KGH. 

Tourism Minister Avanthi Srinivasa Rao, who rushed to KGH, assured all possible means of treatment for the victims.

Train stopped

Meanwhile, the special train from Abu Road to Visakhapatnam, bringing stranded pilgrims back from Mt. Abu, was stopped at the Kottavalasa station and passengers were asked to close all the windows in view of the gas leakage. “We are now at Kottavalasa and are told that the train will be taken back to Vizianagaram. In some coaches, there is no power,” B. Padmavathi, who was in the train, told this correspondent over the phone. 

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 10:04:43 AM |

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