Mishap survivors recall trauma

The staff never complained about violation of fire safety norms

Mishap survivors recall trauma

Shivraj had gone to meet a friend who worked on the seventh floor and got caught in the smoke. He managed to find the emergency exit which was locked. He broke it open with the help of others and also managed to save 17 others.

Shivraj was sharing his experiences during an interaction with the survivors of the Carlton Towers mishap, who underwent treatment at the Manipal Hospital, here on Thursday.
Similarly, Nitin Dubey, who works at Equis India Private Limited there, was also caught in the smoke and help came only after one-and-a-half hours. Dubey said people should be aware of what to do in such situations.

Handling emergencies
“I have never been in such a situation, so I did not know what to do. But this might happen in any office. While it is crucial that the alarm goes off in time, the people should also know the location of the emergency exit. In the initial 15 minutes you are on your own. You need to know what to do at that time,” he said.

He revealed that while Carlton Towers never had a fire drill, few people took it seriously. “We never complain if there is a violation of fire safety norms. The first and second floor corridors were occupied by shops and the fire escape doors were closed in some floors. The lift used to be closed for maintenance every second day. So there was an electrical problem in the building. How many of us complained about it? Even I did not complain! In fact, didn’t the BBMP know that the fire safety system in the building was closed” questioned Dubey.

He also felt that the police had not arrested the ‘right’ people.
Counselling
Meanwhile, the Manipal Hospital will provide free counselling to the discharged patients of Carlton Towers mishap and their families.
The counselling centre will be open on Wednesdays and Fridays, where people will be offered counselling, psychotherapy, gentle exposure by asking them to recount the experience and in some cases, medication will be provided if required.
Presently, three people are on ventilator in the ICU and nine are recuperating in the general ward. The hospital has incurred an expense of around Rs 25 lakh to check 58 people who came on the day of the accident.

Dr Nagendra Swamy, the hospital’s Chief Operative officer said it would send an interim bill to the government, which had announced to foot the bills of all the Carlton Towers victims admitted to the hospital, in a week’s time.
Three discharged patients have upgraded to special ward and the hospital has to check whether they would fall under the government funding.
DH News Service

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