Millennium Post

‘Conducted 1,500 autopsies in 1st week of Bhopal tragedy’

A staggering 1,500 post-mortem examinations were conducted in the first one week after the horrific 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, recalled a doctor who has himself conducted autopsies on 15,000 gas victims over 25 years.

“The doctor on night duty (at Hamidia Hospital) contacted the Union Carbide doctor and asked him what had happened. The doctor responded that tear gas has been released and applying water would help,” said DK Satpathy, a doctor who was on duty on that fateful night of December 2, 1984.

“In a little while, people started pouring into the hospital. Bodies too began to arrive. Soon, a stack of bodies was formed in the hospital complex,” Satpathy told a news agency.  The gravity of the disaster soon became clear.

“On the first day on Dec 3, 850 post-mortems were carried out and in seven days, around 1,500 post-mortems were done,” Satpathy said.

The doctor recalled that the deadly gas caused untold misery. “Even the children still in their mother’s womb suffered. That’s why the pregnant women who were gas victims had children who were physically challenged.”
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