Antony collapses at NDA parade; condition stable (Lead)

May 31st, 2008 - 1:48 pm ICT by admin  

Pune, May 31 (IANS) Defence Minister A.K. Antony collapsed while taking the salute at the passing out parade at the National Defence Academy (NDA) here Saturday but quickly revived and insisted on staying on till the event ended. He was then shifted to hospital, where his condition was described as stable. The cadets of the 114th course were marching past when Antony suddenly slumped into a chair on the the saluting dais. He got up but then fell onto the dais. An army officer immediately ran up and carried him to his car parked nearby.

By then, Antony had recovered and insisted on returning to the dais, where NDA commandant Air Marshal T.S. Randhawa had quickly taken the defence minister’s place to ensure there was no interruption in the parade.

Antony ignored repeated pleas of doctors to get into the car and did so only after the last contingent had marched off the parade ground.

He was then taken to the Military Hospital at NDA where doctors conducted two ECGs, as also a blood test and a cholesterol test. The defence minister was advised six to seven hours of rest.

He was subsequently shifted to the Command Hospital here and kept under observation in the cardio-thoracic trauma centre.

“There is no reason for any apprehension. He is completely ok. His hectic schedule, lack of sleep, dehydration and the scorching sun at the passing out parade led him to feel dizzy,” Col. Deepak Bahadur, the physician who treated him at the NDA hospital, told reporters.

“The ECGs and other tests did not show up anything abnormal,” Randhawa said, adding that the minister was being treated in line with his medical history.

“The minister had returned to New Delhi on Friday (after attending the Berlin Air show). He worked in office for an hour and then left for Khadakwasla (the NDA campus on Pune’s outskirts), arriving here late on Friday night,” NDA public relations officer Maj. Pratap Singh, who carried Antony to the car, told IANS.

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