DDM Offers Support and Care at the Scene of Tragedy

In the evening of 24 June 2007, a tour bus carrying 35 passengers veered off the road and rolled down the side of a 50-meter deep ravine on Yangmin Mountain (Yangminshan), north of Taipei, killing at least eight people and injuring twenty five others.

The Secretary General, Chen Guokaei, and two Deputy Secretary Generals, Cheng Wenlei and Lin Wuhsiung, of the Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM) Social Welfare and Charity Foundation, immediately summoned sixty DDM volunteers from Shihlin, Tienmu, Shihpai, Zhongshan, Tatung, Naihu, Danshui and Beitou districts to visit the injured and families of the dead in hospitals.

The accident took place at 6:30 p.m. while many vehicles were returning home on the winding road through Yangmin Mountain. The ill-fated bus owned by Taiwan Tour Bus Company was on their way home to Hsinchu city when it collided with the car in front and fell into the steep mountain ravine. The Taipei City rescue team and emergency workers were soon on the scene and the injured passengers were transported to the surrounding hospitals to receive medical treatment and the casualties were transported to makeshift morgues.

DDM volunteers were on site in the Taipei Municipal Yang Min Hospital, Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital, Tri-Service Memorial Hospital, Mackay memorial Hospital, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, National Taiwan University Hospital and Cheng Hsin Hospital to care for the victims and give messages of condolence.

They assisted authorities in preparing a casualty list and cross-checking with police at the scene to ensure accuracy. They provided support to the families in the arduous task to locate the hospitals that the injured and the dead were taken to.

One DDM coordinator, Wu Shen, said helping these anxious and heartbroken families identify the hospital where their beloved ones were taken to was the most urgent task at that time.

By midnight the situation was finally under control and after having a short break, DDM volunteers started chanting the Buddha Sutras with the families, a traditional service to bring peace and blessing to the departed.DDM Social Welfare and Charity Foundation also provide spiritual counseling, and in some instances, assistance in various forms to the families.

More importantly, the messages of condolence were passed onto the families on behalf of Venerable Master Sheng Yen, and the Abbot President, Venerable Guo Dong. The Venerables gave their blessings to everyone: the dead, injured, and families as well as the service personnel and volunteers. May the warmth of the Dharma embrace everyone.

(translated by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)

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