Balasore: Two groups of private ambulance owners and drivers on Sunday clashed at the Nilagiri hospital in the district, causing serious injuries to persons from both the parties.
According to reports, a fight ensued on Sunday morning after the drivers and owners of both the ambulances crossed swords to transport a recovered patient from the hospital to home.
While one ambulance driver had agreed to transport the patient with a rent of Rs 250, the other driver persuaded the patient’s family to take them home with Rs 200.
The incident prompted the driver of one of the ambulance along with his owner and a group of locals to exchange heated arguments with the driver and owner of the second ambulance. The situation spiralled into a brawl as the sides attacked each other causing grievous head injuries.
“We were about to ride the first ambulance, when the second party approached us with less amount of rent. Much to our dismay, both the groups fought with each other and several persons from both the parties were injured,” said Jayant Rout, a relative of the patient.
All the injured have been admitted in the nearby hospital.
Meanwhile locals rued that the situation erupted due to unhealthy competition between the private patient carriers amid the crisis of the pandemic but most of all the dire condition of disrepair in government ambulance service and administrative apathy towards the situation is forcing people to hire private ambulances.
(Edited by Suryakant Jena)