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July 19, 2013

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Hotline operator sacked

AN ambulance hotline operator, who failed to respond to an emergency after a call from a passer-by following a car accident, has been suspended, the Fengxian District health watchdog said yesterday.

The confusion essentially arose over the exact location of the accident.

The delay in reaching the crash victims led to the death of a woman.

The 57-year-old woman and her husband were hit by a car in an area bordering two city districts shortly after 8pm on Tuesday.

A passer-by, surnamed Xi, dialed 120 immediately when he saw the accident.

However, because the accident took place on the border of Fengxian and the Pudong New Area, the two district's emergency hotline centers squabbled over who should attend the emergency with neither of them sending an ambulance across.

The Fengxian center eventually sent an ambulance across after police intervened, 34 minutes after the first call.

The district's health authority said the operator should have checked the position of the accident closely instead of hanging up on the caller.

The woman was declared dead on arrival at Fengcheng Hospital.


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