With curves at every hundred meters, huge mountain ranges on one side and a steep, thousand feet deep valley on the other. Tanglangala pass, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, is the world’s second highest motor able road.
On July 02, a group of five doctors, from Jalgaon, Maharashtra, were on their way back from Tso-Moriri Lake to Leh. As they were passing the Tanglangala pass, which is about 17,830 feet above the sea level. They spotted a serpentine queue of vehicles standing on both sides of the road. Curious to know, the doctors got down and walked to see what had happened. They then got to know that an accident took place just a few minutes before.
Without wasting any time and hesitating further, the doctors brought the medicine kits, which they were carrying with them, and started the descent into the valley. The terrain was unknown to them, but they were determined to save lives.
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Virendra Zambre, a general surgeon from Bhusawal, Maharashtra, said, “Without having any second thoughts in our mind, we started walking towards the vehicle. When we reached there one girl had already died, two boys had suffered head injuries and were unconscious. And other two boys had sustained fractures on their hands and legs.”
“We immediately administered them the medicines which we were carrying for an emergency. We had put the Endo-Tactical tube, and with the help of the Ambu-bag, we started giving them oxygen. If they would not have received the medical aid within time, it would have been proved fatal,” adds Dr Zambre.
Dr Dheeraj Choudhary, an Anaesthetist from Jalgaon, while speaking to My Medical Mantra said, “It was a really tough job. We had to walk down about 500 meters and then bring the injured with us to the top. Every step which we took was a challenging one. ‘What if we lost our balance?’ This thought entered my mind.”
Eventually, with the help of the workers of the Border Road Organisation (BRO), the doctors managed to bring all the injured people to the top. But, the most important part which remained was how to transport the injured to the hospital.
Dr Zambre explains, “We got into a dumper of the BRO. And that’s how our journey to the hospital began. Few army men had already informed the front posts about the accident. So, while we were traveling in the dumper we spotted an army ambulance and shifted the patients in the ambulance. After traveling about 45 kms, we reached an army hospital in Kharu village. The patients were stable.”
The Maharashtra branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has also taken a note of the extreme courage shown by the five doctors.
Dr Villas Bhole, Secretary, IMA, Jalgaon, while speaking to My Medical Mantra, said, “The doctors have done a splendid job, as they have managed to rescue the rest of the passengers. They managed to give them oxygen in nick of time. The Maharashtra branch of IMA has also taken a note of their courage.”
The courage shown by the five doctors is commendable. As at the altitude where one suffers breathlessness, the doctors had put their life at stake to save the injured passengers.