Hyderabad blasts: Seven-year-old with Down's Syndrome among many injured

Written by Johnson T A | Hyderabad | Updated: Feb 25 2013, 16:10pm hrs
Among the many injured in the Hyderabad blasts who Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met during his visit here on Sunday was a seven-year-old girl suffering from Downs Syndrome, identified as Baby Priyanka in the records of the Omni Hospital where she is undergoing treatment.

Priyanka is the youngest of the 91 injured in Thursdays twin blasts in Hyderabad which claimed 16 lives. Out shopping for new clothes with her father Balbheem, 34, a labourer at the Dilsukhnagar fruit market, and mother Sampatha, Priyanka had just asked her father for an ice cream when the second of the two blasts, near the Anand Tiffin Centre went off, separating the family and throwing them to the ground.

Balbheem, who suffered injuries to his head, shoulder and ankle, managed to find his bleeding wife and daughter, and rushed them to a local hospital. All the clothes he had bought for Priyanka that day, his mobile phone and all the money he had in his pocket were gone.

The family was admitted to Omni Hospital with multiple injuries suffered in the blast and the subsequent stampede. Balbheem was discharged on Saturday, but is still at the hospital, tending to his wife and daughter.

We were out shopping because Priyanka had been asking for new clothes for a while. We had bought the new clothes and Priyanka was asking for an ice cream. I heard a loud sound in the distance and was wondering if it was a gas cylinder when we were rocked by a massive sound and were thrown in separate directions to the ground, said Balbheem.

It took me a while to compose myself and find my family. They were bleeding all over. My wife was trampled by people fleeing the blast... I bundled them into an auto and went to a nearby private hospital. We were later moved to the Omni Hospital, he said.

Balbheem, who hails from Bidar in Karnataka, came to Hyderabad around five years ago with his wife and younger daughter. An older child was left behind in his village, to be cared for by relatives.

When the Prime Minister visited the hospital today, Priyanka was fast asleep on a bed beside that of her mother. He spoke to us, and said the government would take care of us, said Sampatha.