CHENNAI: With their houses flooded and the route to mortuary inaccessible, families in a southern suburb kept their kin’s body in an SUV for two days before brining it to the hospital for autopsy.
Similar tragic stories of grief and distress were witnessed at the government hospital mortuaries in the city as official death toll due to the floods were released.
On Wednesday 8 am, M Gunasekaran, 35, stepped out of his already waterlogged house in Pandian Nagar, Pallikaranai, to fetch some milk and essentials.
Slipping at his doorstep, he hit a rock and died. “It all happened in a matter of few seconds. We managed to get a vehicle and tried to take him to a hospital. But, Velachery was cut off and so was Guindy due to the floods. He died,” M Krishnan, his brother told Express at the GRH mortuary.
The body couldn’t be taken to the Chromepet government hospital as it was flooded.
“We cannot keep the body in the house as it is already flooded. So, we kept it in this SUV for two days before we finally brought it here,” Krishnan added.
Pallikaranai police had a similar case where one G.Ramesh, 35, employed with Axles India got washed away in the floods when he had left home for his office.
His body was also kept at home for two days before it was brought to the GRH mortuary as his family was unable to find any vehicle to take his body to a hospital.
At the mortuary, another struggle is to find drivers to ferry the bodies back to their homes for cremation. “We have no idea of what’s going on. We are already distraught. It seems they are expecting money from us and giving reasons like lack of drivers,” an agitated relative of Ramesh told reporters here.
Mortuary workers said bodies couldn’t be handed over to the families without completing police paperwork.
“Three bodies, of which two are of drowning and one of electrocution came to our mortuary on December 2 and has been lying since,” said a staff at the mortuary of Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital.