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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 July 2006, 18:17 GMT 19:17 UK
Mumbai is 'bombed but not beaten'
By Monica Chadha
BBC News, Mumbai

Couple cries after hearing of a relative's death
Hospitals have becomes theatres of grief
As Mumbai slowly recovers from Tuesday's serial bomb attacks, hospitals in the city are struggling to cope with more than 700 people injured.

Relatives and friends have been left with the unhappy task of searching for their loved ones by scrutinising lists of survivors on display outside most hospital premises.

The medics not only have to help identify charred and mutilated corpses but have also to attend to the injured lying on blood-soaked beds.

In many hospitals distraught relatives are wandering around in shock at what has happened.

Too few staff

Outside mortuaries, queues of people have formed, many of them weeping. Some have still not found their loved ones and frantically travel from hospital to hospital in the hope of finding out what has happened to them.

Residents describe the bombings

There are 31 hospitals in total who are dealing with the victims.

Most municipal or state-run hospitals suffer from the problem of too few staff having to cope with too many patients.

The cost of treatment in these establishments is cheaper - it is sometimes free - but at the moment there is not enough equipment to deal with such large numbers of injured people.

Vijay Mistri typifies the plight of patients being treated in municipal hospitals.

"When yesterday's explosion took place, I was on the platform," he said.

"Suddenly there was a big explosion and the roof of the train carriage just went off. Of my friends who were travelling in it, one lost his leg while the other lost his life.

"The impact was so strong that I was thrown off my feet and got injured in my hands and leg.

I don't have any fear of the trains, what's the point in being afraid?
Railway employee Rambaran Mishra

"I was put in a rickshaw along with other injured people and taken to hospital. Because I had decided to take the next train, I got lucky and my friends didn't.

"I don't care if I get discharged early or late from the hospital, I am just happy God saved me. There were so many others who didn't survive and others who got hurt seriously.

Mr Mistri said that despite the trauma of his experience, he will not stop travelling by train.

"I have to travel to work and I have no choice. God can save my life but I have to work to feed myself and my family," he said.

'Thank God'

Another passenger, 19-year-old Mohammed Tanveer, disembarked from a train shortly before one of its carriages blew up.

"I got badly hurt on my leg, fell down and lost consciousness," he said.

Mohammed Tanveer
Mohammed Tanveer says he will still travel by train

"There was a massive sound when the blast went off. When I came to, there were people all around helping me, and some of them put me in an auto rickshaw and took me to a hospital close to the station.

That was closed so then they got me to another hospital. I am thankful to God that I didn't get hurt so much, there were others who were hurt a lot more."

Like many other Mumbai residents, Mr Tanveer is stoical about his experience.

"I can't stop travelling by train because my work requires it, there's no other option.

"In any case, who can prevent what is meant to be? I am not too scared, when death has to come it will, no matter what you do," he said.

'Fell unconscious'

Other passengers, such as Jaiprakash Gorao, were standing close to friends who were killed in the blasts.

"The impact was so great that I fell down immediately," he said.

"I broke my leg while my friend who was travelling with me died on the spot. I had the presence of mind to get myself to the hospital."

Relatives of bomb victims outside Mumbai hospital
Anxious relatives are still waiting for news of their loved ones

Railway employees such as Rambaran Mishra will not forget the events of 11 July for some time to come.

"As soon as I got off the train the blast occurred. I heard this big bang and then I fell unconscious and have no idea what happened after that.

"I felt that I had broken my leg when I came to because I couldn't move it at all. I was down on the station and a huge crowd had gathered around.

"Then some people brought me to the hospital.

"I don't have any fear of the trains, what's the point in being afraid? What will happen will happen. I can't stop living my life due to fear."

Mumbai may have been traumatised by Tuesday's bomb blasts but the people of the city are certainly not subdued.

"We are bombed but not beaten," Mr Mishra said.




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