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Kin cry at ‘apathy’

Sushrutnagar, Oct. 20: Kanchan Pal’s phone rang at his Koushallah residence in Kharagpur around 3.30 pm yesterday. The voice on the other side told him about the cable car crash in Darjeeling and that four persons from the town were dead.

Fearing the worst, Pal, his wife in tow, rushed to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital to enquire about the fate of his cousin and his family. On the way, he received a call on his cellphone. Meenakshi, his cousin’s wife, was among the dead, he was told.

Harried and shaken, he reached the medical college around 2 pm today and waited for a “gruelling” one-and-a-half hours. “We couldn’t spot a single doctor. No one approached us. Nobody is just willing to talk or inform us about the condition of my cousin and his daughter. Meenakshi, my cousin’s wife, is no longer with us and we are worried about the condition of her husband, Bidyut Prathihar, and their 10-year-old daughter.”

Fighting back tears, Pal said: “The administration should have gone all-out to help us. My cousin is a practising lawyer at the Midnapore court and we are planning to shift him and his daughter to Calcutta at the earliest.”

Sanjay Chakrabarty, a neighbour of Pal, said: “We were not prepared for this kind of treatment. No one is listening to us.”

Bikash Mondal lost his younger brother and his wife. But their 5-year old daughter had a miraculous escape. One of their relatives said: “Bikash was inconsolable but none of the hospital officials bothered to speak to us.”

Siliguri additional district magistrate Neelam Meena said: “I will definitely look into the allegations.” Superintendent of the hospital J.B. Saha said: “There is nothing to worry. The condition of all the injured is stable. We are monitoring them.”

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