“Wednesday morning, at about 11 o’clock, a loud explosion literally shook the whole hospital,” Giacomo, logistician in Lashkar-Gah, Afghanistan, tells us. “The windows, doors, and some parts of the roof were blown to smithereens by the blast wave. A vehicle packed with explosives had been blown up in front of the entrance to the governor’s palace about 300 meters from our hospital.
After the explosion we heard shots as well, so we decided to activate the usual Mass Casualty Plan, but staying under shelter inside and using the canopy in front of our ER to carry out triage on the casualties, instead of the tents we usually use in the garden for these situations. The sounds of the fighting went on for some minutes, but were drowned out straight away by the noise of the ambulances racing to our hospital.
24 casualties arrived, including three who were already dead when they got here. Relatives and friends of our local staff were involved in the attack too. That’s what war is: you leave home in the morning and you’re not sure you’ll be going back, or if all your loved ones will still be there.”
This is the third mass casualty incident that our Surgical Center in Lashkar-Gah has had in under two weeks.
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