The News Agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Mayapur Residents Recovering After Car Crash

By: on March 14, 2009

The remains of the vehicle carrying ISKCON members from Kolkata airport

Two ISKCON Mayapur residents, Jahnudvipa Dasa from Denmark and his wife Braja Sevaki Dasi from Australia, were badly injured on March 12 when their taxi collided head-on with a truck near Kolkata airport in the early hours of the morning.

The specific cause of the accident is as yet unknown, although eyewitnesses report that the taxi’s front passenger seat, which was empty, took most of the impact and was completely obliterated.

Braja Sevaki, who was sitting in the back seat, flew forward and struck the front windscreen, smashing a two-inch hole in it. She was pulled from the wreck unconscious, and has sustained facial and leg injuries, as well as a broken rib, broken left wrist, and punctured lung.

Plastic surgeons have operated on Braja Sevaki’s face, and she is now fully conscious and speaking to friends, although she remains in the Intensive Care Unit at Kolkata’s Apollo Hospital.

Her husband Jahnudvipa suffered more extensive injuries in the accident, and his condition is severely critical. He has sustained multiple fractures to his jaw, ribs, arms, and legs, and his liver and both lungs are punctured.

However, while he was admitted to the hospital in a severe comatose state, he is now showing signs of external consciousness and is considered stable. As of the evening of March 13, doctors were ready to operate on his jaw and arms. Jahnudvipa’s chance of survival has been given as 60% at this time, with lung damage cited as the biggest threat to his life.

Jahnudvipa and Braja Sevaki’s taxi driver, who has served ISKCON’s congregational Namahatta group for many years, also sustained serious injuries – both legs were crushed, and a large amount of blood was lost. Doctors first stated that one of his legs may have to be amputated, but after operating and reattaching several blood vessels, announced that some warmth had been detected in the lower extremity – a hopeful sign that the leg may be saved yet.

Developments remain fluid, but all three are showing signs of improvement. Devotees around the world are requested to pray for their well-being and speedy recovery.

ISKCON sannyasi Janananda Goswami commented, "I have given up counting the number of near head-on accidents I have witnessed in Mayapur over the years, and it has been so painful to hear of yet another. The roads are bad, but it's the taxi drivers themselves -- including devotee drivers -- that contribute most to the problem. I implore Mayapur management to take steps and do something about the nature of the drivers who regularly threaten the lives of devotees and guests visiting Mayapura."

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