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HERO, Sunrise Airways Help Save Lives after Explosion Injures 30 in Les Cayes



Three more of the nearly 30 injured in the propane explosion in Les Cayes on Sunday were safely transported to the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Burn Unit in Port-au-Prince for treatment on Tuesday, graced by the humanitarian response of HERO and Sunrise Airways.

A day earlier on Monday, eight children, also victims of the Sunday explosion had arrived at the Médecins Sans Frontières burn unit 125 miles away in Port-au-Prince. It is the only hospital in the nation specializing in treatment of severe burns. Here patients receive comprehensive care for burns, including an emergency room, a hospitalization service, physiotherapy and psychological assistance.

But one of the children had died sometime after arrival.

Dr. Didier Hérold Louis, director of the National Ambulance Center (CAN), pointed to roadblocks erected by citizens across Haiti for the resignation President Jovenel Moïse, as a source of delays in transporting the victims to the MSF hospital in Drouillard. Those delays, according to Dr. Louis, is the cause of the fatality.

It takes 5 hours to travel from Les Cayes to Port-au-Prince. Dr. Louis said the transport of the 8 victims, in ambulances that left Les Cayes on Sunday afternoon and arrived Monday morning at 6 AM in Port-au-Prince, would have worsened the situation for the departed child. The patient suffered more, said Dr. Louis.

HERO, an emergency response agency specializing in ambulatory care, got to work sometime following the reports of more than two dozen injured in the explosion. "We looked for all the solutions to bring back the wounded, private planes, pilots, without success. Fortunately, Sunrise Airways immediately offered its humanitarian aid," explained a representative of HERO.

Local airline company, Sunrise Airways stepped up and volunteered to assist the rescue efforts of three of the severely wounded victims. On Tuesday, October 1, 2019, at noon, a plane of the Sunrise Airways fleet took off from Port-au-Prince with a team from HERO consisting of a doctor and two nurses. The team also brought with them 40 burn treatment kits to give to the caretakers in Les Cayes.

The three severely burned victims, two children and an adult, were flown in to Port-au-Prince where three ambulances with HERO personnel, equipped with the support of the National Ambulance Center (CAN) and Saint Lukes Hospital, transported them to MSF's Burns Center.

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