Trapped for hours; How three truck occupants missed an appointment with death
Three occupants of a truck loaded with tomato paste missed an appointment with death in a horrifying accident that happened at the North Industrial Area, Friday afternoon.
The truck, with registration number GR 6956 F, which was descending the slope just around the Light House Chapel, Quodesh, was said to have failed its brake and drove more than a 100 meters into the Melcom Ware House.
The hood (front side of the truck) was mangled beyond repair, trapping two occupants for several hours.
The driver had jumped to safety, shortly after the vehicle collided into the warehouse. He suffered a deep cut around his left eye and several other scratches on his body.
He was in severe pain, while the two other occupants of the truck were on the brink of death. They were trapped in the mangled hood with the possibility of the security post of the Melcom Ware House building caving in on them.
They looked pale but calm in the trapped vehicle.
Drivers, industrial workers and bystanders desperately collaborated in a rescue effort to save the two, one of whom was a complete teenager.
The rescuers decided to off-load part of the tomato paste, which was packed in the trailer of the truck to at least lighten the trapped truck.
With a big chain tied to the trapped truck, an attempt was made to pull the truck from the building but the truck was too heavy to be pulled by a tiny forklift.
After a little over an hour, the Police and the Fire Service arrived at the scene of the accident blaring their horns and taking charge of the rescue effort.
Onlookers kept reassuring the trapped occupants, help was on its way but that help appeared too long in coming. They held on tight to a faint hope of survival.
After two attempts, the Fire Service van finally pulled the mangled truck from the building. At least the occupants had been rescued from the fear of the security post caving in on them but they were still trapped in the mangled truck.
With the two clearly on sight now, moaning in pain and yet could not come out, bystanders were now determined more than ever to get them out.
Filled with sympathy and a burning desire to save lives from the clutches of death, some bystanders hurriedly jumped onto the mangled hood, while others began opening the passenger door of the truck.
The moaning and shouting from the trapped persons increased. The bystanders were using their emotions, instead of their heads. They had to re-strategize.
The fire service personnel took charge again and tied the chain to one part of the mangled hood to the Fire Service van and pulled it slightly.
This created space for some rescuers to move onto the vehicle and with crow bars and other equipment, they created just enough space to rescue one of the trapped persons.
He was between the ages of 25-30. He looked frail, pale and helpless. He had tiny little scratches on his body but overawed with fear. The teenager occupant was still trapped. Any effort to release him came with a loud shout. His leg had been trapped between the mangled vehicle. He was shouting for help with broken sobs.
Rescue efforts intensified but this time with more brain works. Parts of the mangled hood had to be straightened to keep the teenager alive.
After about two hours trap, the young boy suspected to be between 12 and 15 years was pulled out with a deep cut in his ankle. One of the metals had pierced deep into his ankle with a whitish bone showing. He was in deep pain, crying but he was alive.
The rescue team, some of whom had no training, except an unflinching will to save the lives of people appointed to die, could now heave a heavy sigh of relief.
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