She left home early on Monday, for her customary jaunt in the clouds. Late on Monday, Rashmi Papney, 27, an air hostess with Alliance Air, was battling for life in the intensive care unit of a private hospital, not far from the spot where her car had skidded off the EM Bypass and crashed into a lamp-post.
Confusion reigned over Rashmi almost throughout the day as local police — having checked the identity card on her — relayed a message to the airport police station that “an air-hostess has been killed in a road accident”.
It was not until evening that Rashmi’s whereabouts were ascertained and a message sent from Ruby General Hospital to her parents in New Delhi.
“We are expecting her family members any moment, but have not found any contact number for her in Calcutta,” said a police officer, late on Monday.
Police said the accident occurred around 8.45 am, when Rashmi was headed for Dum Dum airport, in an Ambassador, from New Alipore, where she stays as a paying guest. “The car was going down the Bypass after taking a left from the Rashbehari connector, when it suddenly skidded off the road and crashed into a lamp-post. The driver and the passenger sustained serious injuries,” said an official of Tiljala police station.
Local residents and bystanders gathered around the car and managed to drag Rashmi out of the rear seat. “Her head had hit the door-frame and she fell unconscious. We put her in a taxi and hospitalised her,” said the police officer. “The injured driver was admitted to Marwari Relief Society Hospital.”
Rashmi’s condition was “serious” when she was rushed to Ruby General. “She had suffered extensive injuries all over her body, including to the head and the pelvic bone. A team of doctors is keeping a vigil on her and monitoring her condition round-the-clock. Her condition is very serious,” said a hospital spokesperson.
The injured air hostess had lost a lot of blood and doctors had given her 12 bottles of blood, including three bottles of plasma, till late on Monday. “We are doing all we can to save her life,” was what an attending doctor had to say. Preliminary investigation suggested that the car had skidded on a patch of oil spilt by a tanker that had passed that way earlier.