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Unsung 108 Heroes Emerge from Balasore Triple Train Tragedy
Bhubaneswar: The horrifying triple train collision accident at Bahanaga Bazar in Balasore district of Odisha had taken 288 valuable lives and critically injured more than 1200 people, considered as the largest train accident in last three decades. Government agencies immediately swung into rescue operation and 108 Ambulance has played crucial role in this extensive initiative.
Within some minutes, 229 numbers of 108 Ambulances had mobilised from 11 districts of the state like Cuttack, Khurda, Dhenkanal, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Angul, Keonjhar, Balasore, Jagatsinghpur, and Mayurbhanj and deployed for the rescue, transportation, referral transport, and deceased body transport operation. Over 1000 drivers, helpers, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and officials swiftly acted, dedicating them to the rescue work that continued for more than 48 hours.
Many crew members have shown unwavering dedication to rescue operation and have worked round the clock to support the rescue effort. Many of them selflessly joined the effort even they were in leave or had completed their duties of the day, which shown their commitment and dedication to serve for humanity, what 108 Ambulance stands for. Furthermore, more than 20 crew members donated blood at different hospitals, offered assistance to the patients and their relatives during this challenging time.
While the accident occurred at 6:55 PM, and the 108 central call centres received their first call at 6:58 PM. Based on the initial ambulance reports, additional ambulances were dispatched to the accident site. The first ten ambulances reached the site even before the ODRAF, NDRF, and Fire Services reached at the spot.
Within hours, over 200 ambulances were deployed in the massive operation. The injured, including critical cases, were transported to six healthcare centres, mainly Soro Community Health Centre, Balasore District Headquarters Hospital (DHH), Gopalpur Primary Health Center, Iswarpur Primary Health Center, Khantapada Community Health Center, and Nilgiri SDH. Few injured persons were also transferred to Bhadrak DHH.
Subsequently, the deceased bodies were shifted from various locations to the morgues of AIIMS Bhubaneswar, SCB Hospital Cuttack, Capital Hospital, and four private hospitals in Bhubaneswar.
Talking about the operation, Sri Sabyasachi Biswal, State Head, Ziqitza Healthcare Ltd said that, "It was the most challenging and difficult operation we have ever undertaken. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our crew and support staff for their unwavering dedication to helping people during such a trying time. Every individual involved in the process, especially the ground ambulance crew, has displayed the highest level of devotion to their duty, tirelessly serving every injured person without rest. To ensure efficiency and coordination, a team of high-ranking officials has been deployed to the site to monitor and streamline the process. My sincerely thank the State Government, National Health Mission, Stathe Health Ministry and thousands of district hospital teams support, without them this mass rescue operation would have not been possible without."