Tuesday 15 October 2002

Wasted and wounded

From The Sydney Morning Herald:

The Australian toll: Confirmed deaths - 30; Missing - 180; Injured - 113

Prime Minister John Howard supported the opposition’s proposal that next Sunday be declared a national day of mourning, as details on events and specific opportunities to express grief on the day were prepared.

“We labelled patients, X, Y or Z whatever because we didn’t have names or information. Most were burns but we also had a cervical fracture, we had a basic skull fracture, we had people who needed ventilating, intubating. All states. We had people who needed amputations…” (Dr Grahame Southwick, a plastic surgeon holidaying in Bali).

A woman severely burnt in the Bali explosions died today in a Perth hospital. A Royal Perth Hospital doctor said the burns unit team’s hearts went out to the family of the woman, whose name has not been released.

The Australian Defence Force has delivered five refrigeration units to Bali to store the bodies of those killed in the weekend bomb blasts.

Australian Embassy official Kirk Coningham said 196 Australians had been evacuated with injuries suffered in Saturday’s bombing, 16 of them in critical condition and 40 more on stretchers. Australia had also offered to evacuate injured Indonesians to Australia for treatment…

The Alfred [Hospital’s] head of trauma surgery, Thomas Kossmann, said they were expecting patients with burns to between 15 and 50 per cent of their bodies, shrapnel wounds and injuries to the hands.

The last time Mr Salvatori saw his 38-year-old wife alive was at a birthday dinner on Saturday night, before she and other women in the group decided to head into town for a night of dancing and celebration. But instead of helping Kathy celebrate her own birthday yesterday he discovered her body in a Bali morgue, a few hours after putting his daughters on a plane back to Australia.

The following countries have reported nationals to be either dead, wounded or missing: Australia, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United States.

More than 60 patients - including five Germans, two English, a Canadian, a Swede, a South African and a New Zealander - arrived from Denpasar aboard five Hercules flights yesterday in fewer than 12 hours. Two of the first 15 arrivals died.

The injured Canadian is Chris Kovacs’ friend, Rick Gleason. I’m happy and relieved that someone closely connected to Chris has survived. And immensely saddened at the pointless suffering and loss of life.

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Comments

I tried to write a posting on this half a dozen times, but can't find the words. Especially when I look at the faces of the victims. All I can do is grab that one fact, that one bit of hope -- Chris' friend.

And I am so ashamed of my country's president and his insistence on 'leading' the effort to fight terrorism -- saying this to a country in deep mourning.

I am so sorry.

Posted by: Burningbird on 16 October 2002 at 12:34 AM

You and your countrymen have my deepest sympathies, Jonathon.

Your coverage has provided what little perspective I have gotten on this horrible disaster.

Sadly enough, it appears we may all be in this together, whether we want to be or not.

Posted by: Loren on 16 October 2002 at 06:01 AM

My deepest sympathies go to the innocent Balinese bystanders. Is it so surprising that the target was a local tourist bar that banned locals? Bali is Australia's Finest Tourist Plantation. So far, the stories of the victims have been one long tale of Ugly Australians. I have as little sympathy for the rich playboy Aussies killed while on a rugby tour as I do for a certain celebrity who broke his neck falling off his polo pony.

Posted by: Podean on 16 October 2002 at 10:43 AM

The only ugly persopn here, Podean, is the one assuming that all rugby players and their families are "rich playboy" "Ugly Australians" somehow deserving of death by incineration.

Posted by: Garth Kidd on 17 October 2002 at 03:29 PM

This discussion is now closed. My thanks to everyone who contributed.

© Copyright 2002-2003 Jonathon Delacour