Austrian earthquake victim transported back from Iran
Vienna, 29 December 2003 - Hanno R., the 22-year-old Austrian citizen who was rescued from the ruins of the Iranian city of Bam, was able to set out on his flight home from Iran today.
On 26 December the Austrian Embassy in Teheran was informed that an Austrian citizen had also been injured in the recent earthquake. After carrying out initial surgery, a doctor at the Razi Firouz Hospital in the Iranian province of Kerman notified the Embassy of the seriousness of the Austrian's condition. If he was not given appropriate medical treatment within 10 to 12 hours at a suitable hospital outside the crisis region, it was likely that his leg would have to be amputated. However, in view of the great numbers of dead and injured it was extremely difficult to get a single individual out of the earthquake zone. Thanks to the prompt action on the part of the Austrian Embassy and the very cooperative assistance of the Iranian authorities it was possible to arrange for Hanno R. to be flown to the city of Isfahan, where he underwent surgery at the Al Zahira Hospital on 27 December. According to the doctors who performed the operation, the patient's leg had been saved and Hanno R. would make a "complete recovery". At the behest of Minister for Foreign Affairs Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the Austrian Consul from the Austrian Embassy in Teheran travelled to Isfahan to assist the injured man and his parents, who live in Germany, in organising his transport home to Europe. The return flight with the air ambulance left Isfahan today shortly before 18:00 hours CET and is due to arrive in Munich at approximately 23:00 hours CET.