JHANSI: The extreme heat wave gripping northern parts of India took its toll on four elderly pilgrims from Nilgiris visiting temples in and around Uttar Pradesh.
The deceased, travelling on Kerala Express train from Agra to Coimbatore, died allegedly of severe heat exhaustion on Tuesday.
According to fellow passengers, three of them died by the time the train reached Jhansi while the fourth person succumbed in the hospital.
“The exact cause of death can be ascertained only after postmortem,” said North Central Railway PRO Manoj Kumar Singh.
However, Indian Railways spokesperson Ajit Kumar Singh said heat could have been the reason for the deaths.
The deceased have been identified as Pachayya (80), Balakrishnan (67), Dhanalakshmi (74) and Subbaraiyya (71).
Their bodies are being sent to Coimbatore in a special luggage van. Arrangements have been made to transport the bodies from Coimbatore to their native place in Nilgiris, said the District Collector.
Jhansi has been under the grip of an extreme heat wave, with maximum temperatures breaching 45 degrees mark almost on daily basis for the past one week. A statement issued by the North Central Railway, “due to heat, some elderly passengers fell unconscious in S8 and S9 compartments of train no 12626 before reaching Jhansi”.
Upon receiving information, a team of railway doctors and paramedics reached the Jhansi station before the train arrived.
Upon examination, the medicos found three of them had died. The deceased, along with their families, were visiting temples across north India.
While officials said the train had no technical problems, a passenger who was part of the group said their coach was stiflingly hot.
“Shortly after we left Agra, the heat became unbearable and some people started complaining of breathing problems and uneasiness,” the passenger was quoted as saying by a TV news channel.
Jhansi on fire
Jhansi has been under the grip of an extreme heat wave, with maximum temperatures breaching 45 degrees mark for last 1 week