Heat singes Jharsuguda, seven truck drivers die

In response, authorities and labour unions are advocating for urgent measures to protect workers from the extreme heat.
Image used fore representation
Image used fore representation

JHARSUGUDA: Seven truck drivers, engaged in transporting coal from the IB Valley and Lakhanpur area of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), succumbed to suspected heatstroke in Jharsuguda between Wednesday and Friday.

As per police, one truck driver perished at Vedanta parking, while three others succumbed at Belpahar Coal mines parking, two on National Highway 49, and one in Kolabira area.

The first incident took place on Wednesday around 5 pm near Lakhanpur police station on Sinharpur Road. A driver, identified by his truck registration number OR15 AR 5911, was found unconscious in his vehicle. Despite immediate efforts to rush him to Lakhanpur community health centre, he was declared dead on arrival.

The next day, another driver collapsed around 2 pm near Bagmunda Road. Despite immediate response from locals and police, Singh was also pronounced dead at Lakhanpur CHC. Signs of physical distress led to a detailed examination at TRL Hospital in Belpahar but the exact cause of death remains unclear, hospital sources said.

In another incident, a driver was found unconscious in his truck at a parking area near the Belpahar Open Cast Coal Mine. He was later declared dead.

With temperatures soaring to a staggering 47 degree Celsius, the ongoing heatwave is believed to have been the reason of these deaths.

Additionally, temperature in the coal mines area consistently surpass normal levels by 2 to 3 degrees, raising serious concerns.

In response, authorities and labour unions are advocating for urgent measures to protect workers from the extreme heat.

The victims have been identified as Dilip Jadav (26) from Manikpur, Bihar, Indrajit Singh (50) from Uttar Pradesh, Sikandar Tudu (46) from Jharkhand, Parmeshwar Mahto (53) from Gaya district of Bihar, Ayub Khan (57) from Kodarma in Jharkhand, Rahul Kumar Sadiya (34) from Saraipali of Chhattisgarh, and Gudu Rai (38) from Chhapra, Bihar. District collector Aboli Sunil Naravane declined to comment, citing that nothing can be confirmed unless findings of the postmortem reports arrive.

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