Case Studies

Bus Crash in Bolivia

Emergency evacuation vehicles were rushed to the site.

In the early morning hours, a speeding bus made its way around the mountains of Bolivia, famous for its "death roads." Suddenly, it lost control and plunged over the side of a cliff. Certain passengers did not survive the impact of the crash. Those that were still alive were rushed to a nearby village hospital. Already busy assisting with multiple births, unaccustomed to trauma cases, and ill-equipped to handle them, the atmosphere at the hospital could best be described as chaos. To make matters worse, the doctors and nurses spoke a local dialect, and it was difficult for the panic-stricken passengers to communicate with them.

The bus was crushed by the impact of the fall.

Intrepid 24/7 received the call not long after the crash. The passengers were confused, injured, and in desperate need of help. Our multilingual crew took action immediately as it became clear that the four passengers who had access to Intrepid 24/7 had to be evacuated as quickly as possible. One of them was critically wounded and needed blood that was unavailable at the local hospital. All of them were in need of intensive care; however the tiny village hospital did not have an ICU.

Intrepid 24/7 coordinated with one of the only air ambulance operators that handles perilous rescues in the region. The runway was too short to handle an airplane big enough for four passengers, so two planes had to make the dangerous journey there and back. Due to the surrounding mountains, the planes had to land on a runway that was no more than a neglected patch of road—with no tower, no airport staff, and a lack of proper lighting.

Despite the very challenging conditions, the patients were safely transported to a hospital in Bolivia's capital city, where they received world-class treatment. As soon as they were well enough to fly, they were repatriated to their home countries, accompanied by health care professionals who could provide them with the necessary care during the journey home.