The smoke has cleared following a deadly explosion at a grain elevator in Atchison, Kansas, but the memories of the six men killed will live on. The Exchange National Bank and American Red Cross will honor those men, as well as two others injured in the blast, with a blood drive Friday, Dec. 2, from 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. at the American Legion hall at 701 Commercial Street in Atchison.
The Oct. 29 explosion will be known as a dark day for the community, but the Exchange National Bank and the Red Cross hope it will also serve as an inspiration for others to help save lives through blood donations.
One of the men injured in the explosion has used as many as 35 units of blood during his treatment in the hospital, and could use more according to blood drive coordinator and Red Cross Community Coordinator Kim Bottorf. Such transfusions are often needed in severe medical emergencies such as these, and can sometimes be the difference between life and death. Blood transfusions are also used to help a variety of other patients, including those involved in auto accidents, surgery patients, and people being treated for cancer.
The Red Cross and blood drive organizers hope to collect 100 units of blood during the drive on Dec. 2. Because each blood donation can help save up to three lives, 300 patients could benefit from the generosity of area donors.
The tragic events of Oct. 29 cannot be changed or erased, but the Atchison community can help victims of future incidents by making an appointment to donate blood. To schedule an appointment, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.