Thanks to a lengthy chat that I had with my colleague Arkss I was delayed at work and therefore hitched a ride with RP up to Himayatnagar. I then happened to take the route via Koti where 15-20 minutes earlier there was another blast. This time at the well-known Gokul Chat.
While there I happened to interact with someone who was at the site when the blast took place and he mentioned that there could have been at least 20-25 people who took a direct hit and lost their lives. He talked about how people (shopkeepers, shoppers etc.) swung into action and put the injured into autorickshaws and sent them to the Gandhi and Osmania hospitals.
By the time I was walking past the site the Fire Tenders had arrived and the police had cordoned off the area. Yet I noticed that Ambulances were finding it difficult to get through because of the dense traffic and also because the bloody ordinary Hyderabadi refuses to give way even to an Ambulance. I noticed a couple of the Ambulances getting caught even as I was traveling towards Koti but obviously, at that point, did not know the gravity of the issue.
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While I was at the accident site (at the time of writing it is still not clear if the blast at Gokul Chat was caused by a cylinder explosion or by a bomb blast) I noticed that the police had more or less gained control over the situation.
But what really saddened me was the behaviour of some of the people at the site. While at the time that I passed by Gokul Chat there was not much the general citizen could have done to help the injured, surely there was no need to block the other side of the road and gawk as if there was a film-shooting going on.
This crowd was also impeding the free flow of traffic that caused a traffic pile up at the Koti Women’s College end leading to a further delay in Ambulances traveling from the Chaderghat side getting to the spot.
That we don’t do much to help our fellow citizen is bad enough (I am obviously including myself here) but if we are the reason why a badly injured person can’t be taken to hospital in double quick time then there is a problem somewhere in the way we as a community/nation behave.
I know that this post is fairly disjointed but then again I have probably not been as disturbed as I am now.
My heart goes out to the families of the victims many of whom cannot possibly be identified right away and hope they somehow find the strength to deal with this tragedy. And I really really hope that the number of fatalities does not rise over night.
But seriously this has put in perspective a lot of things for me. If I had walked past that place 20 minutes earlier then I too would have been lying in a pool of blood. And there I was an hour earlier, in office, talking about my future.