IMPHAL March 15: Six passengers of a Tata Winger which include two women are battling for life at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences after they were severely burned in a wild fire between Keikow to Khongshang.
They received 70 percent burned injuries all over their bodies when they disembarked from the winger they were travelling. The winger was en route to Imphal with 14 passengers on board. They were caught in the wild fire between Keikow to Khongshang some meters off the national highway number 37 Imphal-Jiribam road under Tamenglong around 2.20 pm.
All the injured persons and the other passengers were brought back to Imphal for treatment by volunteers of the Manipuri Students Federation and reached Imphal around 8 pm.
Briefing the media at RIMS, the driver of the Tata winger, L Samananda, said that they left Tamenglong for Imphal with the 14 passengers around 1.10 pm and on reaching Keikow village some few kilometres off Khongshang village they witnessed a wild fire spreading on the middle of the road during which a Bolero that was driving ahead passed through the engulfing fire but some panicked passengers stopped him from driving pass.
Suddenly, the winger was engulfed by the wildfire from all directions and left them stranded in the middle. Some of the passengers disembarked and tried to escape from the wildfire even as some passengers including him remained inside.
“The wild fire passed away after sometime and we found the six passengers who got down severely burned. We made a call after that for help to the voluntary health unit counter in RIMS and volunteers from other civil organisations. A team of volunteers from MSF arrived soon after and with their help, we were able to reach RIMS for treatment around 8 pm”, said the drive of the winger. Meanwhile, the injured persons have been identified as Dimching Rongmei, 40, of Lukambi village, Winchingdingman Rongmei,37, of Tabam village, B Radhakumar Sharma,38, from Wangkhei, Roshnikumar,40, of Kangabam Leikai and Landhoni Devi of Keinou Tongkha. The conditions of all the six who are undergoing treatment at RIMS are reported to be critical.
A volunteer of MSF informed the media that they condemned the act of some private clinics, RIMS and JNIMS for not extending help and support to MSF when they approached them to provide an ambulance for bringing all the injured persons lying in a far-off place from Imphal in the wild fire incident.