BHUBANESWAR: Desperate times call for desperate measures. That is what 30-year-old Baina Behera showed on Monday evening when fire and thick smoke engulfed the second floor of Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital here. At least 20 persons perished in the blaze.
Behera from Nayagarh district was admitted to the ward undergoing dialysis. At about 7.30 pm, he found to his horror that the ward was getting filled with plumes of smoke. There was chaos all around and no one was responding to his fervent plea for help. As there was a stampede of sorts and people started running helter-skelter around him, Behera decided to go in for drastic measures.
He severed the intravenous line inserted in his hands and held on to the catheter that was strapped to the body. As blood started dripping from the IV line, the 30-year-old rushed into the toilet where he first looked for the glass window. The clamour was getting to him but he held his nerve and got out of the window.
According to fire fighters, they saw the man trying to climb down from the second floor using the pipes. As he went down, he was helped by the rescue personnel who then put him on an ambulance that took him to AMRI Hospital, where Behera is currently receiving medical attention.
“He was covered with blood when he reached here and his condition was bad but in the last 24 hours, he has improved a lot,” a staff of AMRI Hospital said.
Tales of valour:
If Behera managed to save himself, Baby Bhawani, a paramedic staff of the SUM Hospital, played the Good Samaritan and tried to reach out to the trapped patients in the Medicine ICU and dialysis ward which were the most affected by fire mishap. Displaying great courage, she pulled out several patients from the closed compartments of these two units but the toxic fumes got to her and she felt dizzy.
The last thing Bhawani remembered was being knocked over in the melee. Panic-struck patients and hospital staff who were trying to escape from the second floor ran over her. However, she was rescued by the fire fighters and fellow staff and shifted to AMRI Hospital where she is under observation. A spokesperson of the hospital said, Bhawani is still critical but has shown signs of recovery.