11 die of heatstroke at Maharashtra Bhushan Award ceremony, over 100 ill
Maharashtra Bhushan Award ceremony was held at a large, open ground in Navi Mumbai where lakhs of Appasaheb's followers gathered to witness his felicitation.
The Maharashtra Bhushan Award ceremony on Sunday in Navi Mumbai turned fatal for at least 11 people who died of heatstroke after standing in the sun for hours. About 125 people who attended the ceremony complained of exhaustion, chest pain etc. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde reached the Kamothe Hospital where the patients were taken for treatment and reviewed the situation. Shinde announced ₹5 lakh relief to the family of the deceased. Former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray is also likely to visit the hospital.
The function was held in a large open ground at Navi Mumbai's Kharghar between 11.30am to 1.30pm to felicitate social worker Dattatreya Narayan Dharmadhikari, also known as Appasaheb Dharmadhikari. Lakhs of his followers attended the event. After standing under the sun during the peak daytime, many complained of illness and were sent to the hospital for treatment where at least eight of the followers died.
Shinde termed the deaths 'very unfortunate' and said the expenses of the treatment will be borne by the state government. The Chief Minister also directed officials to shift patients to specialised hospitals if they needed additional treatment.
The nearest weather station to the spot of the event recorded a maximum temperature of 38 degrees Celsius.
"Lakhs of people had come for the event and it went well. It is painful to see some of them suffer. It is a very unfortunate situation which is very painful for me," Shinde said.
"It is very unfortunate and painful that some members participating in the Maharashtra Bhushan award ceremony this morning died due to heatstroke. I offer my heartfelt tributes to these seekers. We share in the grief of their families," deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted.
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