Four passengers on a train have succumbed to extreme heat in northern India, which suffocates in recent weeks with temperatures reaching regularly between 45 and 50 ° C, reported Tuesday the railway authorities and a witness.
The passengers embarked Monday afternoon in Agra (north), the city of the iconic Taj Mahal, and were on their way to Coimbatore in southern India. They traveled in cars without air conditioning, the cheapest classes.
“When the train approached Jhansi (200 kilometers south of Agra), we received a call from the crew that one of the passengers had lost consciousness,” said Ajit Kumar Singh of the railway company.
“We dispatched a medical team to the station but they found that three of the passengers were already dead,” he added. A fourth victim succumbed to the hospital.
“The heat seems to have been a factor,” Singh said. At the peak of the day, the thermometer was around 47 ° C Monday in this region.
A passenger who was part of the group of travelers told the local press that the climate had turned the car into an oven.
“Soon after we left Agra, the heat became unbearable and people began to complain about breathing problems and feeling bad,” said the passenger quoted by the News18 television channel. “Even before we could get help, they collapsed.” The dead passengers were between 69 and 81 years old.
Unprecedented heat wave
Considered as summer in the subcontinent, the months of May and June are the most stifling of the year in India.
A dry heat and a blazing sun overwhelm the north of the country by 1.3 billion people during this period. The mercury climbs to unbearable levels, up to 50.8 ° C this year in a city in Rajasthan.
The gradual arrival of the monsoon, early June on the south and end of June on the north, then allows to cool temperatures and irrigate agricultural crops.