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4 elderly pilgrims from TN die of heat in train

Jhansi: Four elderly pilgrims from Tamil Nadu travelling on a train from Agra to Coimbatore in non-AC coaches died allegedly due to extreme heat.

North Central Railway (Jhansi division) PRO Manoj Kumar Singh said Tuesday that the exact cause of death of the passengers aboard the Kerala Express would be determined after the post-mortem report is available.

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

The four, including two women, were seated in S-8 and S-9 coaches, which are non-AC, and other passengers claimed that they died due to excessive heat.

They had complained of uneasiness on Monday evening and by the time the train reached Jhansi, three of them had died.

Another passenger, who was in a critical condition, died in a hospital.

The deceased have been identified as Pachayya (80), Balakrishnan (67), Dhanalakshmi (74), and Subbaraiyya (71), the PRO said.

Jhansi, in Bundelkhand, has been experiencing a severe heatwave in the recent weeks, with the maximum temperature hovering well above 45 degrees Celcius.

The PRO said that in view of extreme heat special arrangements were being made at railway stations for potable drinking water for travellers.

The bodies were being sent to Coimbatore in a special luggage van.

About the cause of death, Singh said, "The postmortem report is awaited. The exact cause will be known only after the report comes."

The country is witnessing its worst-ever heat wave, with four cities in north India on a record high. Starting with national capital Delhi, Churu in Rajasthan and Banda and Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh have witnessed temperatures of 48 degrees Celsius and above.

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