Calmette Hospital is rarely a happy place at the best of times. It may be Phnom Penh’s flagship healthcare centre but facilities are basic. Now the Diamond Island bridge disaster may have turned it into the saddest corner of Cambodia.
Most of those injured in the crush on Diamond Island bridge were brought there, more than 700 of them – a serious challenge for the limited facilities of Calmette and several other Phnom Penh hospitals.
Patients and staff were forced to improvise. The injured lay on the floor if no bed was available, or stayed in the corridors if there was no room in the wards.
But it was not only the wounded who were brought to Calmette. Many of the hundreds who died came as well.