Odisha: Toddler dies as ambulance staff take extended lunch break

Baripada: A couple of Ambajoda village under Betnoti police limits in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district alleged that their 2-year-old ailing baby boy died as the driver of an ambulance in which the toddler was being shifted to a hospital and a pharmacist had a long lunch break at a dhaba.

According to reports, the deceased, son of Niranjan Behera and Geeta Behera, was admitted to PRM Medical College and Hospital here after developing diarrhoea-like conditions. A doctor at the hospital referred the baby to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack yesterday as his condition deteriorated.

An 108-ambulance was soon arranged for shifting the baby to SCB Hospital. As the emergency vehicle was heading towards Cuttack with the baby and his kin onboard, the driver and pharmacist decided to have a lunch break at a roadside dhaba.

As the lunch break went past an hour, mother of the baby requested the ambulance staffers to resume the journey but they paid no heed. Shockingly, the duo took two hours for the lunch during which the condition of the boy turned serious.

The baby was then taken to the Krushnachandrapur community health centre, where a doctor declared him dead. Tension ran high at the hospital as locals and some social workers gathered at the place and demanded a high-level probe into the incident. The driver and the pharmacist later fled the spot.

Acting on a complaint lodged by the parents of the baby, Betnoti police have registered a case against the driver and the pharmacist under relevant sections of the IPC and started an investigation.

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