Omagh Bombing: 'So many injured I did not know where to start'

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The Independent Online
STAFF AT Tyrone County Hospital worked tirelessly through the night to deal with the crisis, with many putting aside their personal grief after finding out that relatives and friends were among the casualties.

Dominic Pinto, the hospital's senior consultant surgeon, said yesterday: "One or two of my staff had their own children involved. Unfortunately one case was a quite severe incident."

Appealing to the terrorists to stop the violence, Mr Pinto, who has worked at the hospital for 18 years, said: "It saddens me to think that people perpetrate such atrocity.

"I want to appeal to these people and say what have they gained by doing this? It is their own people that they are injuring and maiming. I appeal to them, let me not see this sort of thing again. It's dastardly."

Mr Pinto described how he was greeted by "scenes from a battlefield" when he arrived to tend the injured. "There were so many people injured one didn't know where to start. I am still trying to fathom out what makes people do this. I am saddened and lost for words."

Hospital staff were assisted at the peak of the crisis by medical workers from across Northern Ireland. A spokesman said that at one time there were 14 anaesthetists on site, although he had no accurate figures for the total number of medical, nursing and support staff drafted in.

Paramedics, GPs, volunteers, health workers and members of the clergy also did what they could to help.

The spokesman added: "It was a marvellous response and one which we are extremely thankful for."

Translators have been brought in to help a number of Spanish students receiving treatment at the hospital after they were injured in the blast.