Death in the Afternoon

I was leaving the doctor’s office at DHA Clinic (a medical center, not a hospital) when I saw a commotion just inside the boundary gates. A police van had drawn up and people, including policemen with guns, were milling around as two ambulances lined up behind it. I passed by the police van and heard a long sad moaning. I feared the worst, a shooting victim or someone hurt in a car accident.

I saw a man being taken out of the back of the van in a white sheet — his face hidden from my view, but his belly exposed, his shirt ridden up. A doctor was holding up an IV drip while he was being lifted into the ambulance. In the other ambulance, already a corpse had been put on the stretcher inside.

It turned out these were two electricity workers who had been electrocuted while on the job. They’d been brought to the DHA Clinic because it was the closest medical center, but they needed to go to the hospital, one for lifesaving treatment and the other to the morgue.

What haunts me is that I still don’t know who was moaning: the victim or perhaps his wife, still inside the van.