Maharashtra sunstroke tragedy: Toll climbs to 14, seven still in hospital

A 34-year-old woman resident of Virar succumbed to the stroke on Tuesday in a Vashi hospital, raising the death toll. The deceased include 10 women and four men.

sunstroke, Maharashtra Bhushan award, Navi Mumbai, toll rises to 14
The Maharashtra Bhushan award ceremony was held in an open ground and was attended by several lakh people | Photo: Twitter/Eknath Shinde

The death toll due to sunstroke at the Maharashtra Bhushan award event in Navi Mumbai rose to 14 after the death of a 34-year-old woman while seven patients are undergoing treatment, a civic official said on Tuesday.

The deceased included 10 women and four men.

“A 34-year-old woman resident of Virar, identified as Swati Vaidya, was declared dead at MGM Hospital in Vashi, taking the toll to 14,” said Panvel Municipal Corporation’s Deputy Commissioner Vitthal Dake.

Seven recuperating

The official revised the number of hospitalised patients to seven from nine stated by him earlier in the day.

“Now, only seven patients remain admitted to different hospitals in Navi Mumbai. Their condition is said to be stable and they are out of danger,” Dake added.

Also read: Maharashtra sunstroke deaths: Politics prevailed over people’s convenience, says Sanjay Raut

He said patients are recuperating at MGM Hospital in Kamothe, Vashi civic hospital and Medicover Hospital in Kharghar.

Dharmadhikari’s followers

The award ceremony was held in an open ground in Kharghar area in Raigad district on Sunday and was attended by several lakh people, most of them followers of social worker Appasaheb Dharmadhikari, who was conferred with the Maharashtra Bhushan Award by Union Home Minister Amit Shah 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.

The Opposition has accused the Maharashtra government of insensitivity and questioned the timing of the function, which concluded around noon, amid rising temperature.

Opposition puts govt in dock

Maharashtra opposition leader Ajit Pawar on Tuesday demanded the registration of a culpable homicide case against the government over the sunstroke deaths.

Under fire from the Opposition, state minister Sudhir Mungantiwar had said the timing was suggested by Dharmadhikari.

“Appasaheb Dharmadhikari had given us the timing and the event was planned accordingly. Politics should not be brought into everything,” he said.

(With Agency inputs)