LAHORE: It was a disaster – just not the one people thought it to be.
Rescue 1122 was alerted; the electronic media jumped into action, and DCO Lahore, Noorul Amin Mengal took notice, demanding urgent action be taken over a child who had fallen into an open drain near Ravi Hotel.
Except there was no child.
In a series of miscommunications and lack of fact verification, Rescue 1122, the media and the DCO Lahore had taken notice of the death of a calf, which had indeed fallen into an open drain.
The miscommunication started when a call was made to Rescue 1122 by a person from Faisal Town at 10:23am, who said that a wacha (calf) had fallen into a drain near Ravi Hotel.
Rescue 1122 however mistook the word to be bacha (child).
The information soon reached electronic media, which, relying on the caller and without any secondary conformation ran the news.
Rescue 1122 also initially confirmed that the caller had said bacha (child). However, the rescue teams that rushed to the spot quickly learnt that the child was a calf, which had already been taken out by locals in the area.
In the meantime, the DCO Lahore took notice of the news and directed WASA to make suitable arrangements to avoid such incidents in the future. The DCO called for urgent steps to be taken for the drainage of water from roads and streets during and after the rains. He warned that strict action would be taken if any negligence was seen in this regard. The DCO took notice of the incident without any prior confirmation from concerned authorities.
Upon finding out that notice had been taken over the death of a calf, the DCO’s media team said that as per the DCO’s instructions, such statements are issued to the media relying on electronic media’s news. Asked whether or not they had verified the information running on news channels, the media team said notices are immediately taken when news breaks, while concerned departments are questioned about issues afterwards.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly translated 'wacha' as lamb. The error has been rectified.