Death toll from sunstroke at Maha event rises to 12
Representational image

Thane: One more patient is undergoing treatment after suffering from sunstroke at an award function in Navi Mumbai has died, officials said on Monday. With this, the death toll in the incident has gone up to 12.

A 55-year-old man from Kalyan, who was critical, died late night. Two more persons are battling for life, a senior doctor at a civic-run hospital in Vashi said.

Earlier on Sunday, at least 11 people died due to sunstroke as the ‘Maharashtra Bhushan’ award function, attended by lakhs, was held in an open ground in Kharghar area of Maharashtra’s Raigad district.

One more person died late night, taking the toll to 12. The deceased included eight women and four men.

Eleven of the deceased have been identified as Vinayak Haldankar (55), Tulsiram Wangad (58) from Thane, Mahesh Gaikar (42) from Mumbai, Swapnil Kini (30) from Palghar, Jayshree Patil (54), Vandana Patil (62) from Raigad, Manjusha Bombde (51), Savita Pawar (42) from Mumbai, Kalawati Vaychal (46) from Solapur, Bhima Salvi (58) and Pushpa Gaikar (64) from Thane.

Another woman, in the age group of 50-55, was yet to be identified.

An official release from Navi Mumbai police said during the function when children and women lay on roads seeking drinking water, a senior police inspector from Kharghar along with his team carried water for them.

Since three days, police personnel, including women, from across the state were deployed in and around the venue and they remained there even after the event despite the scorching sun, it said.

Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Milind Bharambhe was on the ground throughout along with a number of senior officials. “There was no no stampede,” the release said.
Many women collapsed due to excessive heat and the policemen on duty drove them on motorbikes through the crowd to medical assistance centres for first aid and saved their lives, the release said.

Earlier in the day, Raigad district information officer said 44 people were admitted to five hospitals in and around Kharghar. Out of them, 20 are still undergoing treatment while the others have been discharged.

Lakhs of people had come for the event held on a 306-acre ground in Kharghar. The nearest weather station to the spot had recorded a maximum temperature of 38 degrees Celsius.

Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Ajit Pawar has sought an inquiry into how the ‘Maharashtra Bhushan’ award event was organised in Navi Mumbai during noon time when the temperature is very high.

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Union Minister Amit Shah on Sunday conferred the Maharashtra Bhushan Award on spiritual leader and social reformer Appasaheb Dharmadhikari at the event.

Dharmadhikari has a massive following in the state due to his tree plantation drives, blood donation and medical camps as well as de-addiction work in tribal areas.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had termed the deaths “very unfortunate” and said the kin of the deceased will be given a compensation of Rs 5 lakh.

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