11 die of heat stroke during government award ceremony in India's Maharashtra
As many as 11 people died, and at least 50 were taken to hospital due to heat stroke during an award ceremony organised by the state government in India’s western Maharashtra state. Thousands of people attended the event.
"11 people have died from heatstroke during Maharashtra Bhushan Award ceremony in Navi Mumbai's Kharghar," Maharashtra CMO said in a statement on late Sunday night.
People who suffered from heatstroke were rushed to Tata Hospital in Kharghar for medical aid, ANI news agency reported.
The award ceremony was held in Navi Mumbai on Sunday afternoon, where the daytime temperature was recorded at a maximum of 38 degrees Celsius.
India's Home Minister Amit Shah, state Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also attended the ceremony, where social activist Appasaheb Dharmadhikari was felicitated.
According to reports, the ceremony was held at an open ground, where no roof was available.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Shinde went to the hospital where people were undergoing treatment. He announced Rs 500,000 ($6,100 approx.) compensation for the families of the deceased and also ensured proper treatment for those who are getting treated.
“This is a case of sunstroke. Some 50 people were admitted to the hospital, of which 24 are still there while the rest have been discharged after primary treatment," Shinde told reporters while coming out from the hospital.
In a tweet, Fadnavis said that the state government will bear the cost of treatment of those who suffered heat-related illness.
"It is very unfortunate and painful that some members participating in the Maharashtra Bhushan award ceremony this morning died due to heatstroke... We share the grief of their families," Fadnavis tweeted in Marathi.
Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday issued a heat wave warning for states like West Bengal, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh over the next four to five days.
It also said that Punjab and Haryana states are likely to be hit by heat waves in isolated pockets on April 16 and April 17.
"Heat wave conditions are very likely in isolated/some pockets over Gangetic West Bengal and Bihar during next five days and over Sub-Himalayan West Bengal & Sikkim during next three days," IMD said in its latest weather bulletin.
The weather agency said heatwave conditions have been prevailing in isolated pockets over Gangetic West Bengal for the last fi vedays, coastal Andhra Pradesh for the last three days, and Bihar for the last two days.
A heat wave is declared when the maximum temperature at a station is at least 40 degrees Celsius in the plains, 37 degrees in coastal areas, and 30 degrees in mountainous areas.