Moments after police and medical personnel rushed to the crumbled, half-ruins of a BWSSB sludge digester dome at a sewage treatment plant in Hebbal on Monday morning, phones began to ring with the hospitals in the immediate vicinity.
At Columbia Asia Hospital, 4.9 kilometres from the accident site, Dr Mahesh Mylarappa, consultant and in charge of emergency services at the hospital, was informed about ‘Code Yellow’, a hospital-speak that emergency patients were on the way. As the staff prepared rooms and resources to receive the injured, the first of the ambulances arrived.
Hundreds of migrant construction workers from West Bengal, Bihar and Tamil Nadu had been working at the 100 MLD sludge treatment plant at Jogappa Layout, opposite Lumbini Gardens, when the roof of one of the four large biodigester tanks collapsed, killing three workers and injuring 20.
Government rescue personnel rushed four of the injured to Relieve Hospital, five to Columbia Asia and eight to Aster CMI, one of whom was Guddu Kumar, a 30-year-old labourer from Kolkata.
Kumar, who fell from the top of the tank, injuring his leg in the hard landing, said that he was fine. “Nothing to worry,” he said. Out of the eight men sent at Aster, one was declared dead on arrival. One survivor is currently in the ICU, two are in the general ward and four were discharged.
According to Dr Mylarappa, two of the five patients brought to the Hebbal branch of Columbia Asia (government records show that eight patients were sent to Columbia Asia), two were dead on arrival. “One of the survivors had been injured in the fall, another had lower limb injuries and the third had minor injuries,” he added. “All survivors sent to our hospital have been discharged.”
3 engineers suspended
The BWSSB has suspended three engineers, including an executive engineer, over the incident.