Hundreds of taxis light up Peru airstrip so critically ill mother and newborn baby can be flown to hospital at night after radio plea for help
- 300 drivers turn up at Contamana airport, which does not have lights
- New mother and baby receiving treatment at hospital in Pucallpa
- The other patient onboard, a 17-year-old man, later died of leptospirosis
Some 300 motorcycle taxi drivers parked on an airstrip and turned their headlights on so a critically ill mother and newborn baby could be flown to hospital at night from one of the poorest places in Peru.
The single-engine medical plane, which also carried a 17-year-old man with a tropical disease, took off from Contamana airport after the taxi drivers responded to a plea from a local radio DJ.
They arrived at the 2,600ft airstrip within minutes and shone their headlights along the runway so the plane could take off for the town of Pucallpa.
Hundreds of taxis lined an unlit airstrip in a jungle region of Peru so a medical plane could take three critically ill patients to hospital
The town’s hospital is not equipped for emergency situations and the airport has basic facilities and no lights.
‘We have always been people with a heart,’ presenter Adolfo Lobo told AFP.
The 17-year-old man, named as Samuel Tamani, had been diagnosed with leptospirosis, a disease that can be spread through animal and rodent urine, reported the Peruvian Times.
He died of his illness days after his arrival at hospital last Wednesday, the newspaper said today.
New mother Melita Murrieta was being treated in hospital with her child after a difficult delivery.