Tales of helplessness and survival | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Tales of helplessness and survival

kolkata Updated: Dec 10, 2011 02:18 IST
HT Correspondents

‘I cried myself hoarse but guards did not let me save my daughter’

Dhananjay Pal, 41, lost his 15-yr-old daughter Prakriti If it had not been for the security guards, Dhananjay Pal’s 15-year-old daughter would have been alive. “When I was crying myself hoarse, begging to be allowed to go upstairs and bring her out, they were busy protecting the image of the hospital,” said Pal.

Prakriti, 15, fell off a scooter on November 6 and suffered a head injury. “Since the injury was bad, I brought her to Kolkata and admitted her here on November 7,” continued the distraught father.

Prakriti was on the path to recovery. On Friday night, Pal and his friend were at the hospital reception, where families of patients stay at night.

“Around 2 am, we woke up to the smell of something burning. We rushed out and saw many people outside the main entrance, which was closed. They were screaming and urging security guards to let them in. But no one opened the door,” he recounted.

The next couple of minutes were a nightmare. The lift was not working, and even the lights went off . According to Pal, the guards, however, continued to insist that it was a small fire. An hour later locals broke into the hospital. “They even managed to rescue some patients, but it was too late for my daughter,” he said even as he broke down. (As told to
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya)

‘No one came to my rescue’

Bina Gorui, 50, patient of orthopaedic ward When Bina Gorui woke up and saw the billowing smoke she called up her son from her mobile phone. “It was around 3:15am. There didn’t seem to be any staff around. I screamed and panicked but no one came to my rescue. Finally I managed to find my cell phone and called my son,” she said.

Gorui was admitted seven days ago with a broken hand. Soon after, her son reached the hospital. “When I saw him I nearly fainted in relief. He then picked me up and carried me downstairs. I shudder to think what could have happened.”

(As told to Shubhi Tandon)

Her sons came just in time

Dhandra Devi, 40, patient of NITU ward Dhandra Devi, a bone cancer patient, woke up to screams of other patients in the ward on Friday morning. But Dhandra Devi’s hands and legs were stiff from the ailment and she knew any attempt to move was futile. But miraculously her sons reached the hospital earlier than usual.

“I come every day from Durgapur to see my mother… I rushed to her ward with a big plastic curtain lying on the floor. I put my mother on it, and with the help of a few people carried her out,” said her son Amar Bahadur.
(As told to Tasmayee Laha Roy)

Woman pulled off husband’s drip, dragged him out of hospital

Sripada Acharya, 37, patient of orthopaedic ward Sripada Acharya, a resident of Tripura, owes his life to his wife Munna. Acharya was admitted in the orthopaedic ward of the seven-storeyed AMRI hospital in Dhakuria on December 3 following a bike accident.

On Friday morning Munna, 30, was dozing at the waiting room on the ground floor when suddenly thick black smoke engulfed the place.

“I asked the hospital staff what had happened. I checked with them if the fire brigade had been contacted. All
they said was ‘we are looking into it’.”

Not leaving anything to chance, Munna took the stairs.

When she reached her husband’s ward on the third floor she could barely see anything.

“Everyone was running. A nurse tried to stop me. I pushed her and went towards my husband’s bed. I pulled off the drip and dragged him through the stairs and brought him outside the hospital,” she said, reliving the horror.

Out on the road, Munna spread her shawl on the footpath and laid her husband on it. She then placed a call to Tripura Bhavan. “And soon after, with the help of a car provided by Tripura Bhavan, my husband was shifted to AMRI Salt Lake. There was absolutely no help from the hospital authorities,” she said. (As told to Sandip Chowdhury)