PM’s heart surgeon Panda injured in car accident (Lead)

December 27th, 2010 - 5:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Guwahati, Dec 27 (IANS) Cardiac surgeon Ramakant Panda, who had last year conducted a heart surgery on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was Monday injured in a road accident while on a holiday with his family in eastern Assam’s Nagaon district, officials said.Panda was going to the Kaziranga National Park when the car he was travelling in collided head on with a truck carrying boulders near Samugiri in Nagaon, 150 km from here.

Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told IANS that Panda was talking but had sustained head injuries. The car driver and an Assam Police official escorting the surgeon were critically wounded in the accident, which took place around 2 p.m.

Panda’s son suffered a fracture on his shoulders although his daughter, travelling in the same vehicle, escaped unhurt. His wife was travelling in another car.

“He (Panda) had minor injuries on his head and we believe he is absolutely fine and there is nothing to be worried about,” Naba Goswami, Panda’s friend and a cardiac surgeon who is based in the US, told IANS.

Goswami, currently in Assam, is escorting Panda to Guwahati in an ambulance along with the injured son.

“Panda is talking and fully conscious, although his son is suspected to have a minor fracture on his shoulder,” Goswami said.

Panda was in Assam at the personal invitation of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and was accorded the status of a state guest.

Panda, a cardiovascular thoracic surgeon and vice chairman at Mumbai’s Asian Heart Institute, led a team of doctors who successfully conducted a heart surgery on the prime minister last year at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.

He was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the nation’s third highest civilian honour, this year.

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