Burdwan, July 10: A train today rolled over a man’s legs in Burdwan and severed one foot from a little above the ankle while the other hung by some tissues, but he apparently waited nearly five hours before he was wheeled in for surgery.
The man, in his mid-thirties, was identified as Shibapada Sardar from the voter ID card found in his trouser pocket. He was crossing the tracks at a level crossing near Katwa station around 3pm when the engine hit him.
Although witnesses immediately informed the Katwa assistant station manager (ASM) and the Government Railway Police (GRP), Sardar apparently lay unattended for almost an hour.
“It was only after local journalists arrived and pressed the ASM and the GRP that two constables took him to Katwa sub-divisional hospital in a cycle van,” said Sujan Chowdhury, a resident.
Sujan followed the cycle van, and noted that the GRP constables left soon after reaching Sardar to the emergency ward.
However, the doctor on duty in the ward was not in at that time, so some nurses bandaged Sardar’s legs, hospital sources said. Witnesses said his legs kept bleeding despite the bandage.
An hour later, when journalists arrived at the hospital, they found Sardar still lying in the ward. But no doctor was to be seen yet, a witness said.
Palash Mitra, a youth who was in the hospital along with others, said the doctor landed 10 minutes after the journalists did.
Mitra said: “After the doctor came, he told those present that Sardar had been referred to Burdwan Medical College and Hospital. He said Sardar needed an operation but a close relative would be required to sign necessary papers as the operation would be done under anaesthesia.”
By then, it was almost 6 pm.
However, the local people and the journalists pressured the doctor to have the operation done there itself. A surgeon was urgently called in. Then it was discovered that the operation theatre (OT) was locked and its keys were with a Group-D staffer who could not be located for another hour.
“Hospital employees repeatedly called the Group-D staffer on his mobile but he did not take the calls. When he finally did, he said he had taken the keys home with him. He was immediately called in, the OT was opened and the operation done,” said Mitra.
Sub-divisional officer, Debiprasad Karnam, who was informed about the accident by journalists, arrived at the hospital in the evening and reprimanded the doctors.
A journalist also contacted P.S. Mondal, the divisional manager of Eastern Railway. “I have been told it is difficult to treat the patient at Katwa hospital as better facilities are required. I have arranged for his treatment at the railway’s Orthopaedic Hospital in Howrah. The railway will bear all expenses,” said Mondal.
“I will also inquire into the alleged delay in taking him to the hospital by the Katwa railway staff.”
The chief medical officer of health of Burdwan, Dilip Kumar Mondal, said he had received a report from the administration and sought one from the hospital.