Sands: Americans in PMH stable after Eleuthera crash
The two patients who were airlifted to New Providence following a bus accident in Rock Sound, Eleuthera, on Monday are stable and were expected to return home yesterday, said Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands.
Thirty-two people were on the Carnival Cruise tour excursion bus when the driver lost control of the vehicle and it overturned around 11 a.m. on Queen’s Highway. Four patients with injuries too severe to be treated in The Bahamas were airlifted to Fort Lauderdale.
Giving an update on the conditions of those people outside Cabinet yesterday, Sands said that six people received serious injuries while 10 people had less significant injuries.
He praised the “phenomenal” response from the medical teams on the ground in Eleuthera and in New Providence.
“It demonstrated an absolute fine example of what teamwork is in the setting of a mass-casualty event,” Sands said.
“We don’t want to see this type of thing, but we do know that certainly our teams are capable of handling it.”
Minister of Tourism Dioniso D’Aguilar, who also spoke to the matter outside Cabinet, said he doesn’t believe that the accident will negatively impact the country as a tourist destination.
“I think this was just a genuine accident,” he said.
“…The driver lost control of the vehicle. We don’t know why yet and it was just an accident; that’s just what it was.
“Accidents happen and obviously we try to take steps to mitigate these accidents but I don’t think that this will put a blemish or a black mark on the destination.
“I just think it’s an accident that could have happened anywhere, at anytime, to anybody. Thankfully, there were no fatalities and hopefully everybody is getting first class medical care to try and rectify any injuries that they incur.”
D’Aguilar also thanked the medical teams and the Americans for their rapid response.
“I am so delighted that the situation wasn’t worse than it was and I am extremely impressed how the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Tourism, the local administrators and everybody gathered around to deal with this emergency,” he said.
“We are very thankful to the Americans, in terms of providing us airlift and transporting passengers onward to the United States as quickly as possible.
“It was a horrible situation but I think we emerged relatively unscathed, and we’ll see.”
Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) and the National Emergency Medical Services (NEMS) activated their Mass Casualty Incident Protocol while the government activated its national disaster plan.
The national disaster plan is initiated whenever there are multiple injuries that require government and international intervention.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications