Imran Khan falls off rally stage, suffers head injuries



Zee Media Bureau

Lahore: In an untoward incident, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party chief Imran Khan was badly injured and suffered minor fracture in his head on Tuesday evening when he fell off a forklift that was hoisting him on to a stage for an election campaign meeting here.

Imran Khan fell off a lifter while he was being raised to a stage to address an election rally, his spokesman Ejaz Chaudhry said.

The Pak leader had sustained severe injuries on his head and was bleeding profusely. He had also lost his conscious for a while after falling from the stage.

However, he regained consciousness and is in a stable condition now, his spokesman and party leaders said.

Khan, 60, was immediately rushed to the Shaukat Khanum hospital after the mishap happened in which several of his bodyguards also apparently lost their balance and fell several feet to the ground.

The supporters of the cricketer-turned-politician carried him to a vehicle before being taken to the hospital.

However, the nature of his injuries could not immediately be ascertained.

PTI leader Dr Yasmin Rashid also said that Khan is conscious and is talking, which is a good sign in case of head injuries. She said doctors put 16 stitches.

Another party leader Asad Omar said that Imran Khan was talking to the doctors and he was confident enough.

He was first taken to a local hospital for stitches and later was transferred to his own Shaukat Khanum Hospital for further treatment, PTI leader Asad Umar said.

The former cricketer Abdul Qadir, who was present at the venue of the campaign meeting, said he had been told Khan had sustained injuries to the front and back of the head.

He said the persons on the forklift had lost their balance when someone tried to climb on it from below.

Witnesses said that Khan came down from nearly a 20-feet lifter

An another witness said that Imran Khan hit a rod as he came down and bleeding started from his forehead.

Meanwhile, leader Asad Omar that Khan will not address the public meeting today night and will take a rest. He appealed to the people to pray for him. He told Khan's supporters that there is no need to panic.

Imran Khan was supposed to address the rally ahead of the Pakistan General Elections which are scheduled on May 11, 2013.

Due to the mishap, Khan's party cancelled all public meetings in Lahore, the party 's spokesman said.

A large number of PTI supporters arrived at Shaukat Khanum Hospital to visit the party leader.

Punjab's Chief Minister Najam Sethi also visited Khan in hospital and inquired about his health.

In their separate messages, President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, Interior Minister Malik Habib Khan, Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G Ibrahim and Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif and other political leaders wished Khan a speedy recovery.

With IANS inputs