Two die of suspected heatstroke in Odisha's Balasore

Locals, meanwhile, blamed the district administration for not making necessary arrangements in view of the sweltering condition.
Image used for representation
Image used for representation

BALASORE: Two elderly persons died of suspected heatstroke in separate incidents in Balasore district while they had gone to exercise their franchise on Saturday.

The deceased were identified as 67-year-old Surendra Mohanty of Iswarpur village in Nilagiri and Birendra Tudu (79) of Nagakhani village in Basta.

In the first incident in Nilagiri, Mohanty had gone to Iswarpur primary school along with his wife to cast vote. However, since the polling booth had no resting shed, people had to queue up in the open under the scorching sun before they could vote.

At around 11 am, Mohanty was standing in the queue at booth no-159 when he fell unconscious. Locals sprinkled water on him but he reportedly did not respond. He was then taken to the Nilagiri hospital where doctors pronounced him dead.

Police seized the body and sent it for postmortem. “While the cause of the elderly man’s death is yet to be ascertained, it is suspected he might have succumbed to a heatstroke,” police said.

Locals, meanwhile, blamed the district administration for not making necessary arrangements in view of the sweltering condition. They demanded that compensation be paid to the kin of the deceased as per government norms.

Similarly, 79-year-old Tudu of Nagakhani village in Basta had just come out of the polling booth after voting when he fainted. Ward members of the area along with a few locals rushed him to the Rupsa community health centre where doctors declared him dead.

Sources said Tudu lived alone with his wife Hiramani since both his sons had migrated to other states for job. On getting information about his death, his wife reached the hospital and with the help of locals brought his body back home in a rickshaw as ambulance service was unavailable. While the cause of his death is unclear, locals suspect he might have succumbed due to sunstroke.

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