The Balasore district hospital and Soro hospital, where the injured have been rushed after a triple train accident, are bursting at their seams as the huge flow of patients has crammed up every room, with patients spilling onto corridors.
Harried medical staff were seen trying to bring succour to patients, many of whom are from states other than Odisha and had difficulty in communicating. In all till mid-day, some 526 railway accident victims have been admitted to Balasore district hospital.
Dr Mrutunjay Mishra, additional district medical officer (ADMO), Balasore district headquarters hospital, said, "I am in the profession for many decades, but have never seen such chaos in my life. All of a sudden 251 accident injured persons rushed into our hospital and we were not at all prepared. Our staff worked all through the night and provided first aid to all."
Sixty-four patients were referred to SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack. Now we have 60 patients in beds. Others were discharged after minor “surgery.
"We were in fact surprised as a large number of youths made a beeline to donate blood here. We collected around 500 units of blood overnight. Thanks all. It is a lifetime experience. Now things are quite normal," he said.
Policemen and locals have been volunteering to donate blood at Balasore district hospital and other hospitals through the night, said officials. More than 2,000 people gathered at the Balasore Medical College and Hospital in the night to help the injured, and many also donated blood, officials said.
The morgue at the hospital was a pile of white shrouded bodies, many of them yet to be identified as relatives are yet to make their way to the town with many train services cancelled or delayed due to the accident on a major railway trunk route.
Jagdeb Patra, who is admitted to Balasore Hospital with fracture in both hands, said he was travelling to Chennai.
Many people, including many from West Bengal, were frantically visiting the Balasore Hospital and Soro in search of their missing relatives and friends.
The injured have been rushed to Balasore, Soro, Bhadrak, Jajpur Hospital and SCB Medical College in Cuttack.
Mukesh Pandit, an injured passenger from Jharkhand, who was going to Chennai in the Coromandel Express told PTI that he "never realised when the accident occurred only regained consciousness to realise he was in extreme pain."
Doctors from AIIMS-Bhubaneswar have been dispatched to Balasore and Cuttack in Odisha to assist in the relief operations at the train accident site, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Saturday.
"Two teams of doctors from AIIMS-Bhubaneswar have been dispatched for Balasore and Cuttack to assist in relief operations at the rail accident site in Odisha," Mandaviya said on Twitter.
"We are providing all required help and medical assistance to the victims of the tragic train accident to save precious lives," he added.