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No mortuary van available, man’s body taken to Indore hospital in garbage truck

The body of the middle-aged man was found in a field at Ghatiyabana on Thursday. A bottle of celphos – a fumigant made of toxic aluminium phosphide – was found next to him.

bhopal Updated: Jun 14, 2018 20:11 IST
Nitin Gupta
Nitin Gupta
Hindustan Times, Dewas
Mortuary van,Sonkutch,Dead body
The owner of a field in Ghatiyabana chanced upon the body while he was making preparations for sowing.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The lack of a mortuary van or ambulance forced the authorities to transport an unidentified body from Sonkutch to Indore – a journey covering over 70 km – in a garbage truck on Thursday.

The incident highlights the poor condition of health infrastructure in rural parts of Madhya Pradesh, an issue that could assume importance ahead of the assembly elections.

According to Sonkutch police, the body of the middle-aged man was found in a field at Ghatiyabana – located about 30km from the Dewas district headquarters – on Thursday. Mohan Singh Baghel, the owner of the field, said he chanced upon it while he was making preparations for sowing.

The man was at least five days dead, and a bottle of celphos – a fumigant made of toxic aluminium phosphide – was found next to him. As there was no mortuary van available at the time, the authorities put the body in a garbage truck of the Sonkutch Nagar Parishad and sent it to the local community health centre. The medical personnel in charge, Dr Hemant Gupta, examined the body and directed that it be sent to MY Hospital in Indore for a post-mortem examination. The same garbage truck was used to transport it there.

When contacted, Dewas chief medical and health officer Dr SK Saral said community centres like the one at Sonkutch do not have specific vehicles to transport bodies. While they do have a single 108 ambulance, it is too much in demand to be used for such purposes.

Local MP Manohar Utwal had promised a fully equipped ambulance a year ago, but it is yet to be fulfilled. While he could not be reached for comment, local legislator Rajendra Verma said he will use the MLA fund to get another ambulance for the village.

First Published: Jun 14, 2018 20:11 IST