How ready are we to cope with major accidents?

Victims of the Taiwanese water park blast waiting to be transferred to a hospital.
Victims of the Taiwanese water park blast waiting to be transferred to a hospital.PHOTO: EPA

The Taiwanese water park blast was an unfortunate accident, where Taipei's hospitals, emergency services and medical personnel were stretched to the max ("S'porean among nearly 500 injured in Taiwan festival fire"; Monday).

More than 140 ambulances were dispatched and 1,200 medical personnel were involved in helping the injured in the critical hours after the accident took place.

Given that there are so many major events held here, I can't help but wonder how our emergency services would cope, should a similar accident happen in Singapore.

For one thing, securing a bed in a hospital would be a challenge in itself, given the perennial bed crunch, not least a bed in the intensive care unit.

Lim Lay Hoon (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 03, 2015, with the headline 'How ready are we to cope with major accidents?'. Print Edition | Subscribe