A day after five senior citizens died while traveling from Agra to Coimbatore aboard the Kerala Express on Tuesday, their autopsy reports have confirmed heat stroke as the cause of death.
Of the 68-member group travelling to Coimbatore via Kerala Express number 12626, one woman passed away before boarding the train and three men and one woman died during the train journey on Monday evening. The deceased have been identified as 80-year old Pachaiyya, 67-year-old Balakrishnan, 74-year-old Deivanai, 71-year-old Subbaiyya and 54-year old Kaladevi.
The bodies of the deceased, who are all from different parts of Tamil Nadu, will reach the state on Wednesday evening, their family members confirmed.
According to an official railway source from Jhansi, a few of them suffered intense bouts of vomiting and collapsed inside the compartment as the train neared Jhansi railway station.
Speaking to TNM, Nandakumar a relative of two of the passengers who passed away – Balakrishnan and Subbaiah, said, “My uncle Subbaiah didn’t experience any nausea and did not vomit. He was okay till the train reached Jhansi and there he just fell unconscious and passed away. My other uncle, Balakrishnan, was critical and taken the medical college for treatment where he too passed away,” Nandakumar said. Balakrishnan was a retired DEO Superintendent and Subbaiah was a retired Tahsildar.
Speaking to media, Jayakumar, son of the deceased passenger Kaladevi said that his parents were on a 10-day trip to Varanasi to visit pilgrim centres.
“On their way back to Coimbatore I heard that my mother had collapsed and passed away,” he said. Kaladevi was travelling with her husband, 68-year-old Ravichandran, when she collapsed due to the heat.
“My mother was going to board the train at 3 pm from Agra on Monday. But before she boarded, she experienced intense vomiting, fell unconscious and was taken to the railway hospital. There, the doctors said that she had high blood pressure and so she was taken to two private hospitals in Agra itself. She passed away at 7 am in Jeevan Jyoti hospital on Tuesday,” Jayakumar told TNM. Her post mortem report, too, confirms heat stroke as the cause of death, Jayakumar added.
All the deceased persons were part of a 68-year member group who started from Coimbatore to Varanasi and then Agra.
“They started on June 3 from Coimbatore and went to Chennai. From Chennai, they visited Gaya and then Triveni in Allahabad. After this they visited Varanasi, Agra and then were returning to Coimbatore,” Nandakumar added.
A few persons from the group have now stayed back to help with the procedures and to bring their mortal remains back to Tamil Nadu.
The mortal remains of the deceased are slated to arrive in Coimbatore by 4:30 pm on Wednesday. While Balakrishnan and Subbaiah hail from Oddanchathram in Coonoor, the others hail from Kotagiri and Coimbatore.
“The district administration has agreed to help us by sending an ambulance to Coimbatore to bring the bodies to Coonoor,” Nandakumar said.
(With inputs from Sanyukta Dharmadhikari)