Kendrapara:A critically ill TB patient died here Saturday as the 108 ambulance service failed to reach his house in time to ferry him to the district headquarters hospital (DHH).
The patient’s family and locals detained the ambulance and its crew in the village for nearly seven hours with the body of the man.
Nakhia Mallick, 47, a poor tribal of Sabarpada village in Petachhela GP, became seriously ill as he was suffering from tuberculosis. His family and locals took him to the nearby Ramnagar PHC some days back.
The doctor gave treatment and asked the family to take Nakhia to the DHH. The family took Nakhia home from Ramnagar PHC.
Soon Nakhia’s condition turned critical and his family called 108 ambulance service many times Friday afternoon, but it failed to turn up.
Early Saturday Nakhia’s condition worsened and his family called 108 ambulance, but it did not come. Nakhia died Saturday at around 6.30 am, said his wife Mina Mallick.
Later in the day a 108 ambulance came to the house of Nakhia. Angered by the failure of the ambulance to come in time and blaming the crew for Nakhia’s death, his family and villagers kept his body in front of the ambulance and detained it along with its crew, said Ramesh Bhakta, a villager.
Jamboo marine police reached the spot, pacified the villagers and released the ambulance and its three-member crew.
Sarpanch, Gouri Maity gave Rs 2,000 under the Harischandra Yojana to the bereaved family for the cremation, said IIC Priyabrata Dash.
Later, locals kept the body on the Jamboo-Ramnagar Road and staged a blockade by burning tyres near Ramachandi demanding compensation for the family.
Additional tehsildar Prasant Kumar Moharana and police came to the spot and held talks with the protesters.
The mob demanded compensation as the patient died due to the negligence of ambulance service personnel.
The additional tehsildar, as per the Collector’s orders, assured the family Rs 10,000 from the Red Cross Fund.
He also promised to bring their case to the attention of the Collector, provide treatment to the family as they were all TB patients, and a pucca house to the family.
Following these assurances, the protest was withdrawn and the police sent the body for autopsy to DHH.