God has repaid my kindness, says blast victim

July 28th, 2008 - 4:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, July 28 (IANS) His is one of the stories of valour that stand out like a beacon of hope in these dark days following the choreographed blasts that killed at least 50 in this Gujarat city. Mukesh Lalani had rushed to help the injured at the Civil Hospital when a bomb exploded just behind him and he was seriously wounded himself. Two days later, the 52-year-old Lalani recounted with gratitude Monday: “I tried to help when the ambulance entered; God seems to have repaid my kindness.”

It was a normal Saturday evening. Lalani had gone to the Civil Hospital to visit a friend.

“I had gone to the Civil Hospital where a friend was being discharged after being hurt in an accident. I had a word with him and was leaving a little while later when I saw an ambulance entering the hospital premises. It came to a screeching halt. On impulse, I decided to help even as a couple of paramedics approached the rear door.”

That’s when all hell broke loose.

“There were only the injured all around me. And then, even as I was helping a stretcher out of an ambulance there was a loud explosion behind my back. I dived trying to reach under the ambulance even as the stretcher fell with a thud,” Lalani told IANS.

The resident of Mandvi-ni-pole in the old city, now recovering from shrapnel injury on his legs in the V.S. Hospital here, said his was a providential escape.

A groggy Lalani was picked up by some people and taken to the V.S. Hospital where a special ward has been created for the blast victims.

In what is perhaps a first, the bomb at the Civil Hospital exploded just as injured from earlier blasts were being brought in. There were a total of 21 blasts that rocked the city in the space of about 70 minutes, killing 50 and injuring at least 200.

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