-- A nurse detailed the chilling moments after an airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan, that struck a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders.
The first-hand account by Lajos Zoltan Jecs, a nurse at the trauma hospital, was posted online.
“There are no words for how terrible it was,” Jecs wrote, describing the airstrike responsible for at least 22 deaths.
He writes that he was asleep in the hospital safe room when the bombing occurred: “I was woken up by the sound of a big explosion nearby. At first I didn't know what was going on. Over the past week we'd heard bombings and explosions before, but always further away. This one was different, close and loud.”
Jecs says his first indication that the hospital itself had been struck was when an injured colleague made it to the safe room.
“It was one of the Emergency Room nurses. He staggered in with massive trauma to his arm. He was covered in blood, with wounds all over his body ... In the safe room, we have a limited supply of basic medical essentials, but there was no morphine to stop his pain,” Jecs wrote. “We did what we could.”
After the bombing stopped, Jecs emerged and what he saw shocked him.
“We tried to take a look into one of the burning buildings. I cannot describe what was inside. There are no words for how terrible it was. In the Intensive Care Unit six patients were burning in their beds,” he wrote.
Jecs describes the scene as chaos.
“Enough staff had survived, so we could help all the wounded with treatable wounds. But there were too many that we couldn't help.”
Even seasoned medical staff members were deeply affected by what had occurred, according to Jecs.
“Seeing adult men, your friends, crying uncontrollably — that is not easy,” he wrote. “I have been working here since May, and I have seen a lot of heavy medical situations. But it is a totally different story when they are your colleagues, your friends.”
The hospital was a home for Jecs.
“Yes, it is just a building. But it is so much more than that. It is healthcare for Kunduz. Now it is gone.”
While the United States has said that it will conduct a full investigation into the attack on the hospital, Doctors Without Borders is calling for independent and international body to conduct any investigation to allow for full transparency.