Imran Khan was injured on Tuesday after he fell from a makeshift lift that was taking him onto a stage at a Pakistan political rally. The gathering was meant as a campaign rally for Khan, a leading Pakistani politician.
Khan, along with several others, fell from the lift platform, which was about 15 feet high at the time. Despite his visible head injury, a spokesman for the Shaukat Khanum hospital said that the former cricket player’s condition was stable.
Khan later spoke from his hospital bed, urging Pakistanis to vote in Saturday’s parliamentary elections. Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Khan’s rival, announced he would suspend his campaign for a day out of respect for his opponent.
Video footage captured Imran Khan’s scary injury as some of his fellow lift-riders appeared to fall on top of him. Later, photos showed supporters carrying Khan to a car, which took him to a local hospital. After initial treatment, the former cricket player was taken to Kahore’s Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, which Khan founded.
Along with Khan’s stitches on his head, he also suffered a hairline compression fracture on a vertebra on his back. Dr. Faisal Sultan, the hospital’s chief executive, added, “Imran has a head injury, but he is stable, talking and recognizing people. We will conduct some tests and further examinations.”
Despite his campaigning, Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party is not expected to win the poll on May 11. However, it could end up being a major partner in a coalition government. Khan promised to cut down on tax evasion and corruption that have worked together to drain Pakistan’s treasury dry.
While the PTI has had a marginal showing in previous polls, it has benefited from a groundswell of support this year, headed by young, urban voters frustrated by the Middle Eastern nation’s corruption.
It is not clear how long Imran Khan’s injury will keep him in the hospital.
[Image via Stephan Röhl]