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Ahmedabad Blasts:I can't sleep when recall that scene

Ahmedabad Blasts:I can't sleep when recall that scene

Publication: Desh Gujarat
Date: August 1, 2008
URL: http://deshgujarat.com/2008/08/01/ahmedabad-blasts-i-cant-sleep-when-recall-that-scene/

Superintendent,Civil Hospital Ahmedabad Mrs.M.M.Anchalia (as talked to Japan K Pathak),

26th of July, 2008. At 6:30 I was watching news channel on TV at my quarter. My quarter is in Civil hospital campus at walking distance from trauma center. In fact Trauma center can be seen from my gallery. Suddenly on TV screen, I watched a news flash about serial bomb blasts in Ahmedabad. At the same time my phone was ringing. Local MLA Pradipsinhji Jadeja was on the phone. He informed me that injured bomb blasts survivors from different parts of Ahmedabad had started rushing in to the Trauma center of Civil hospital. I told my 16 year old daughter to drop me at Trauma center. Trauma center is the center where patients in emergency are admitted and treated first. After initial treatment at Trauma center, patients are referred to the suitable ward in the main building of Civil hospital.

When I entered the Trauma center and was looking at the arrangements, suddenly after some five minutes, I heard a massive voice of blast. In just 10 seconds there was another blast. We were literally shaken. Voice was so massive that for 10 seconds I couldn't hear anything else. It was like hearing ability blockage. Assistant medical superintendent Dr. Maheria was also there. We were shocked for some minutes. After two, three minutes I went outside the entrance of Trauma center and witnessed a horrific scene there. half burnt dead bodies were scattered there, One head, two hands, parts of bodies were shattered and were lying here and there. Flames were high. Some people whose bodies had caught fire, some other people whose bodies were bleeding were unstably walking into the Trauma center themselves. As there was a massive destruction in Trauma center itself, initially some survivors were sent to nearby Rajasthan hospital in available rickshaws. Local MLA Pradipsinhji Jadeja was enthusiastically active in arranging such quick helps.

On the ground floor of the Trauma center, our emergency treatment room was completely devastated. I went to the first floor to see whether it was operational after the blast or not. On the first floor, operation theaters doors and windows were broken. On second floor our another operation theater was destroyed. I literally run to the third floor to see whether oxygen supply to our patients admitted there in Intensive Care Unit was intact or not. This was important because at least 13 patients were living only because of oxygen support there at that time. Thankfully oxygen supply was intact. Blast had not punctured oxygen supply system and connecting pipes. However Air conditioner system's pipes that were just beside the Oxygen supply pipes were punctured.

I again went back to the ground floor. Mobile phones, land line phones, Civil hospital's intercom telephone lines nothing nothing was working. With senatory supervisor and social worker I literally ran in the long lobby of Gujarat's biggest Civil hospital and went to my office on the other side of the main building. I was surprised to see health Minister Mr. Jaynarayan Vyas there. He had just arrived there. I informed him about the blast at trauma center on the other side of the building. Minister replied that he had experienced the effect in his car when he arrived at the other side of the Civil hospital at the time of blast.

We tried to dial 108 emergency ambulance service, Fire Brigade, Police etc. but telephone traffic on that evening was so high that we couldn't get success to contact any of these authorities. Thankfully, Health Minister could successfully dialed a phone to the Chief Minister. Health Minister talked to the Chief Minister Narendra Modi over a phone, informed him about the situation and sought immediate help. Presence of Health Minister and communication to the Chief Minister was quite helpful.

I rushed back to the Trauma center. Called Matrons, Sisters there and ordered to vacate nearest ward to create alternate Trauma center. Nearest ward available was ward C1. This ward was immediately vacated. Patients from Trauma center were taken to this ward. I don't know how we successfully could transfer so many survivors to C1 ward in minutes. Even doctors themselves ran pushing the stretchers.

We started functioning of temporary trauma center in C1 ward. All nursing students were called on from nursing college in the Civil campus, all doctors from their quarters also rushed in for help. C1 ward had war like situation.

Operation theaters and medical stores generally shut down at 5.00 p.m. but we ordered to open them because we had medicine and other necessary arrangements at ward level for up to 100 patients only. Each and every doctor, nurse, ward boy worked without fear. Treatment was not affected for single minute and alternate trauma ward was functional in some minutes after the blast.

Meanwhile my daughter who had dropped me to the Trauma ward was crying. She was alone at my quarter. Blast site could be seen from our quorter. She was unaware about my how abouts. She phone called my husband who was at his clinic at Kankaria area in Ahmedabad. My husband rushed to the Trauma center and inquired about my how abouts. Our staff at Trauma center assured him about my well being. Due to hectic arrangements, I could meet my husband and daughter one and only after one and half hour.

Our doctors, our ladies staff , volunteers and local people all have shown amazing strength and service in toughest time of this hospital ever. Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh too praised our efforts and work in his visit to the hospital. Terrorist attack on hospital's emergency ward was a rare event.

Even today when I recall that evening of 26th of July, 2008 I can not stop tears coming out from my eyes. I just can's sleep when I recall that scene, that evening.

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