As North blazes, four die of heat in train

A man offers drinking water to a train passenger at a railway station on a hot day in Patiala on May 28, 2019. PTI

As North India continued to reel under extreme weather conditions, four elderly pilgrims from Tamil Nadu travelling on a train from Agra to Coimbatore died allegedly due to severe heat on Monday night.

A group of 68 travellers from Coimbatore, returning after visiting Varanasi and Agra, had boarded the Kerala Express from Agra Cantonment Railway Station on Monday night.

“When the train was approaching Jhansi, we got a call from the on-board staff that one of the passengers had fallen unconscious. A doctor was summoned to the station who found that three of the passengers were already dead. Another, who was also facing breathing problems, was rushed to the Jhansi Medical College where doctors declared him dead,” North Central Railway (Jhansi division) PRO Manoj Kumar Singh said on Tuesday.

Kumar, however, said that the exact cause of deaths would be determined after post-mortem.

He said the passengers were part of a group on a religious tour. They had reached Agra from Varanasi, and from there, they were returning to Coimbatore by the Kerala Express. 

The deceased have been identified as Pachaiappan (80), Deivanai (74), Subbaraiyya (71) and Balakrishnan (67). The bodies were being sent to Coimbatore in a special luggage van.

Co-passengers are learnt to have claimed that the victims experienced unbearable heat and were complaining of uneasiness and breathing problems after boarding the train.

No let-up in heat

Several parts of the country continued to reel under sweltering heat on Tuesday, with the mercury hovering around the 45-degree Celsius mark.

Jhansi in Bundelkhand has been experiencing a severe heatwave in recent weeks, with the maximum temperature touching 45° Celsius.

Palam in Delhi recorded 48°C on Monday while Churu in Rajasthan recorded 50.3°C, the highest. Accordingly, the demand for power has also reached a record high in North India.

The Railways said that in view of the extreme heat, passengers have been advised to keep themselves hydrated and contact railway staff in case of any inconvenience. Special arrangements were being made at railway stations for potable drinking water.

Several hospitals in North India, including Delhi, are witnessing a surge in patients with heat-related ailments.

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