10 dead of suspected heatstroke within seven hours in Odisha's Rourkela

Sources said the temperature of two patients before death was very high which suggested they might have suffered heatstroke.
A man riding a cycle seen covering his head with a towel near Unit 1 Market in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.
A man riding a cycle seen covering his head with a towel near Unit 1 Market in Bhubaneswar on Thursday. Express / Debadatta Mallick

ROURKELA/BHUBANESWAR: Ten individuals are suspected to have succumbed to heatstroke at Rourkela Government Hospital (RGH) within a span of seven hours on Thursday, as mercury levels soared to 46.1 degrees Celsius in the steel city.

Sources said the RGH started admitting the victims from 1 pm onwards and in the next six and half hours, the count rose to 10.

The special relief commissioner’s office said the Sundargarh collector has been asked to investigate the cause behind the deaths.

An official from the RGH reported that eight individuals were pronounced dead on arrival, while another patient died failing to respond to the treatment.

Another person died while on the way the hospital during the day.

“Everything happened between 1 pm and 8.30 pm,” he added.

Sources said the temperature of two patients before death was very high which suggested they might have suffered heatstroke.

Almost all the victims were carried in 108 ambulances and belonged to Chhend Colony, Railway Colony, Jhartarang and a few other areas of Rourkela city along with nearby areas like Jalda and Hathibari.

A man riding a cycle seen covering his head with a towel near Unit 1 Market in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.
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Confirming that 10 persons were brought dead on Thursday, in-charge director of RGH Dr Sudharani Pradhan said reason behind the death cannot be confirmed immediately.

“Medical history of the deceased was not known and hence the reasons cannot be confirmed,” she added.

Asked, if the victims had symptoms of heat stroke, Dr Pradhan said, a committee of doctors would decide after the autopsy of the bodies on Friday, adding there were no other external marks on the deceased’s bodies.

Beds of the heatwave ward have been increased expecting more patients, she added.

Additional SRC Padmanabh Behera said, the Sundargarh collector has been instructed to conduct an inquiry to ascertain the exact cause of deaths.

A man riding a cycle seen covering his head with a towel near Unit 1 Market in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.
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Despite repeated attempts, Rourkela ADM and Rourkela Municipal Corporation (RMC) Commissioner Ashutosh Kulkarni could not be contacted.

Meanwhile, Jharsuguda recorded the summer's hottest day with mercury reaching 47 degrees Celsius on Thursday.

The heat index in Jharsuguda was about 52 degrees Celsius due to the sweltering heat accompanied with 22 per cent humidity. Western city Sambalpur recorded 45.6 degrees Celsius and 29 per cent humidity for which the heat index was about 55 degrees Celsius , Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre's scientist Umasankar Das posted on X.

A man riding a cycle seen covering his head with a towel near Unit 1 Market in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.
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