Polish firemen recall trauma of Nepal
PR dla Zagranicy
Sixty-nine firemen returned to Poland on Wednesday night after taking part in a rescue and aid mission in quake-stricken Nepal, and thirteen remaining colleagues are due to follow on Friday.
Members of the HUSAR heavy search and rescue team and their dogs at Warsaw's Okęcie Military Airport. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
The team was welcomed at Warsaw's Okęcie Military Airport by Brigadier General and Commander-in-Chief of the State Fire Service Wieslaw Leśniakiewicz, who thanked the men for the “fortitude” they had showed in Nepal.
“Five years ago we were in Haiti, and now in Nepal,” he said of the HUSAR heavy search and rescue team, which is composed of firefighters from Warsaw, Gdańsk, Nowy Sącz, Łódź and Poznań.
He stressed that the Nepalese operation “showed that they are well prepared, they have good equipment and work effectively.”
Meanwhile, Brigadier Wiesław Drosio, commander of the Warsaw group, recalled that the hardest part of the operation was being faced with suffering people “whose world had come crashing down on their heads.
He cited a Nepalese man who had asked the Poles to see what had happened to his son, daughter and wife.
“We pulled back a wall, but unfortunately all had died.
“Within half a minute his life was in ruins.”
The official death toll following the 25 April earthquake is over 7500, and it continues to climb.
The UN estimates that 2.8 million people have been displaced by the disaster.
Polish humanitarian groups are continuing to raise money for the needy in Nepal, following a transport of 15 tonnes last weekend. (nh)