Locals carry youth’s body on cot as ambulance fails to turn up

Baripada: Protesting non-arrival of ambulance and fire brigade, locals of Kainphulia village carried  body of a youth, who reportedly died after drowning, to Collector’s office on a cot here on Sunday.

The deceased youth, Arjun Singh had drowned while taking bath in a dam.

As Arjun’s  condition was critical, locals had called up the 108 ambulance services to rush him to hospital. But even after two hours, the ambulance did not turn up which led to his death, locals alleged.

“We were present at the spot when Arjun had gone to take bath. After some time we heard people screaming that he has drowned. We rescued him and after we found him gasping for breath, we contacted the 108 ambulance services to take him to hospital. Even after two hours not a single ambulance arrived at the spot and Arjun died before our eyes,” said an eye-witness Ranjan Lenka.

Following the incident,  locals carried the body on a cot and started to march towards the Collector office in Baripada, situated five kilometres away from the village.

However, police intervened midway and sent the body for post-mortem.

“We got information that one Arjun Singh of Kainphulia has drowned while taking bath at a dam. When we arrived, the villagers were carrying his body. We pacified them and brought the body to hospital in a hearse. An unnatural death case has been registered and the body has been sent for post-mortem,” said IIC of Sadar police station, Swarnalata Minz.

The locals have even alleged that they had sought help of the fire services after Arjun drowned in the dam but none arrived at the spot.

Fire services authorities on the other hand refuted the allegation.

“There is a lack of awareness among the people. In case of drowning they should have called the fire brigade first as it is an immediate responder in such emergency cases. Locals had first contacted 108 ambulance services, then police and fire services at last. But, we responded immediately after getting the information, reached the spot and completed all our procedures before returning to station,” said Baripada fire officer, Prakash Kumar Jena.