Bridge Collapse Injures WWU Mission Trip Members, RAA Students

Students Participating During Spring Break

By: Jodi Wagner

Walla Walla University

Two members of Walla Walla University’s India Immunizations mission trip group were injured in Meghalaya, India, when a bridge collapsed near the school on March 18, 2012. The two India Immunizations team members, a nursing graduate and a current nursing student, were crossing the bridge with local students of India’s Riverside Adventist Academy when it collapsed. They were transported to a hospital in Guwahati, the nearest city, where they are being treated for injuries. They are expected to recover.

The injured students from Riverside Adventist Academy were also taken to hospital. One remains in critical condition with a head injury, and a few others are hospitalized, mostly for fractures.

At the scene of the accident, members of WWU’s India Immunizations team were very helpful in treating and stabilizing the injured, says Ginger Ketting-Weller, vice president for academic administration at Walla Walla University. Additionally, the team has provided support for Riverside students in the wake of the accident. Families of all members of the WWU team have been contacted about the incident. The team expects to stay and continue their work as planned.

India Immunizations is sponsored by Walla Walla University’s School of Nursing in collaboration with the School of Social Work and Sociology. The group, including students, faculty and medical personnel, traveled to India during the university’s spring break to administer immunizations, teach health classes for the academy and the community, and to conduct Vacation Bible School meetings in the evenings.

Riverside Adventist Academy is a boarding school located directly north of Bangladesh and south of Bhutan in the Garo Hills of Meghalaya. It serves seven states of the Northeast India region, and enrolls more than 850 students from preschool to 10th grade.

Ketting-Weller says university officials are working with India Immunizations sponsors to facilitate additional arrangements in the aftermath of the accident. “We are thankful for the medical skills of those on the scene of the accident, and we continue to pray for God’s presence and healing for those who were injured,” she says.

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