Accident cases on Holi doubled in Delhi, with 312 injured people taken to All India Institute of Medical Sciences' (AIIMS) Trauma Centre. The number was up by 10% from than last year's 286 hurt on Holi. It was also more than twice the average 150 patients the hospital gets in a day.
Of the 312 cases, 218 - 70% - were drunk. "About 90% of the 218 injured had either been stabbed or involved in a scuffle. The rest were drink driving," said Dr MC Misra, chief, AIIMS Trauma Centre.
As many as 15 people were critically injured and needed surgery. All critically injured patients were driving under the influence of alcohol and sustained head injuries in a road accident.
Ram Prakash, 24, who suffered multiple fractures and chest injury, admitted to having been drunk while driving. "I was a few pegs down and lost control of my bike."
Help was sought from the National Disaster Rapid Response Force (NDRF), a unit of the National Disaster Management Authority, to decontaminate the injured person of the chemicals, before giving first-aid.
A 13-member NDRF team was at the hospital round-the-clock, with a tanker and jet showers to wash off the effect.
"Holi is a chemical disaster, as we don't know what the person has been exposed to. Chemicals like copper sulphate mixed in colours are highly toxic, and also pose the risk of secondary contamination to health workers," said Dr Sanjeev Bohoi, in-charge, emergency medicine.
As the numbers shot up, additional staff was asked to assist the 20-member casualty team.
A separate area was assigned for people who only required dressing, stitches and pain medication.