At Least 13 Die Of Heatstroke During Bhushan Award Program In Maharashtra

At least 13 people died and over 600 people suffered heat stroke at the Kharghar venue for the Maharashtra Bhushan Awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon as lakhs of people sat directly under the scorching sun for hours. 

The death toll may increase. Many people complained of dehydration and fell unconscious on the ground, leading to a stampede-like situation.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde reached Navi Mumbai to meet the victims at Kamothe’s MGM Hospital. 

Kharghar residents and workers strongly criticized the poor system and mismanagement.

Political statements claimed that 2 million people participated in the event, however, according to police sources, the actual number of attendees was much lower. 

Lakhs of people from far flung Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat have reached the venue of Kharghar. 

They sat in the sun for more than six hours. The two tents, collectively accommodating around 1,000 people, were reserved with separate entries for VIPs, media etc.

Among the dead, Jayshree Patil (54) of Mhasla taluka of Raigad district suffered a heart attack on the ground. 

An official said, ‘Till now 13 people have died and the death toll may rise further as there was a stampede. More than 600 people suffered sun stroke. Security has been tightened in the sub-district hospital-Panvel’s hospitals and the post-mortem room.

A resident of Kharghar said, “The arrangements for the event were poor and mismanaged with improper accommodation facilities. Some of them were on the ground for two days. During the hot Sunday afternoon, millions of people were in direct sunlight without any protection”. 

Activist Rajeev Mishra said, “The deaths were due to mismanagement by the government.”

A doctor told that “the victims had problems of dehydration, chest pain, increase in blood sugar level etc. Some were given ORS powder and asked to stay cool and in the shade or in an air-conditioned facility”.

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