Elphinstone stampede: Among the deaths from cardiac shock, an 11-year-old victim

The Mumbai stampede began on 10.15 am, and bodies were pulled out till 11.30 am. Many of those who died were buried under at least four or five other people for over 30 minutes. 

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai | Updated: October 2, 2017 7:34 am
Elphinstone stampede, Elphinstone, mumbai stampede, Elphinstone Road station, Elphinstone stampede victims, Elphinstone foot overbridge, mumbai stampede death toll, mumbai news, maharashtra news, latest news, indian express Relatives of victims at the KEM Hospital. (Express Photo: Prashant Nadkar)

At least three of those who died in Friday’s stampede at the Elphinstone Road station in Mumbai are suspected to have suffered cardiac shock, including the youngest victim, 11-year-old Rohit Parab. Forensic doctors have sent samples of organs of Rohit, Alex Curia, and 35-year-old Sachin Kadam for histopathology tests to confirm if “cardiac standstill” caused their death.

“There are injuries on their bodies. But those injuries were not serious enough to cause death. We suspect they experienced shock when the stampede began and may have suffered heart attack. The opinion in all three cases has been reserved,” a resident doctor of the forensic department at KEM Hospital said.

Forensic findings analysed by The Indian Express show that four of the 23 who died — Mayuresh Haldankar, Suresh Jaiswal, Hiloni Dedhia and Mushtaq Rais — experienced suffocation or “traumatic asphyxiation”. They were likely among those who were buried the lowest in the stampede on the railway foot overbridge.

The stampede began on 10.15 am, and bodies were pulled out till 11.30 am. Many of those who died were buried under at least four or five other people for over 30 minutes.  Other victims suffered multiple injuries to kidneys, liver and other organs, resulting in their death. Their autopsy reports suggest they may have been trampled upon. Five of these victims also suffered haemorrhage shock.

Another seven died due to blunt trauma injury to the chest, causing lung failure. “In a stampede-like situation, chest injury and suffocation form the most common causes of death,” said KEM Hospital Dean Dr Avinash Supe. Head of KEM Forensic Department Dr Harish Pathak said, “Compression of lungs may happen when a person is buried under several people and his chest is compressed.”

Three others, Shubhalata Shetty, Nepali migrant Tilakram Teli who was identified the last, and Satyendra Kumar Kanojia, died due to head injuries. Kanojia (35) succumbed on Saturday morning after being kept on a ventilator for a day and failing to gain consciousness. “He died due to head injury associated with unnatural injury to lungs,” his forensic report states.

Rohit, who was among the first to be brought to KEM Hospital, was buried under a pile of people and was dead by the time he arrived at the hospital. He had injuries on his face, limbs and chest and records show he was bleeding. “But his body was intact,” a forensic expert observed.

Ahead of Dussehra, Rohit had come to Parel market to buy flowers with his elder brother Akash Parab (19) for their Vikhroli store. The duo got separated in the stampede, and Akash survived with a leg and femur fracture. Kadam, a Dombivali resident, was accompanied by a group of friends as they crossed over from Parel station using the foot overbridge where the stampede happened. He had just finished a Dussehra pooja on board a train with fellow commuters. His friend Babu Jadhav claimed he died on the spot. Kadam is survived by an infant son and wife.

Dedhia, 22, was found lying near the bridge’s exit. She was holding hands with another deceased woman in a video footage of the stampede, indicating that the two strangers held on to each other for support. Her family identified her with the help of a pink purse she was carrying, which was found by a local and handed over to KEM Hospital’s emergency ward.

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    Proud Bhakt
    Oct 2, 2017 at 9:19 am
    If corrupt KHANgress had been in power , death toll would have been much higher . Thanks to BJP and honorable PM Shri Modiji , only 23 people have died. And their families have been adequately compensated with Rs.5 Lakhs each .
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      George Cruz
      Oct 2, 2017 at 9:16 am
      The truth is that the Indian Railway infrastructure in Mumbai was never upgraded for the last decade while the congress party was in power in spite of the facts that the Mumbai is one of the fastest growing city as well as the financial hub of India. The congress leaders have to take the main responsibility for this tragedy in Mumbai. It is also true this tragedy could have been staged by the local parties (with goonda elements) who want to demonize the development oriented BJP. Remember the BJP has been power just for 3 years and modernizing the railway is huge task and Suresh Prabhu ex- Railway minister had proposed a plan to improve the railways in Mumbai.
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        SK Gupta
        Oct 2, 2017 at 6:18 am
        Prosecution of erring officers is the Need of the Hour! People who had No relatives or friends are also spending sleepless nights thinking of the tragedy. People died for No fault of theirs. Criminal Negligence should not be allowed to go unpunished. It will lead to further deaths. Pl do not publicise politicians who do Nothing but take advantage of a tragedy!!
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          sam
          Oct 2, 2017 at 7:58 am
          barbarians are Indians and the crowd, no discipline, urgency in mentality once they get onto to road as if they are dying and they need to get to hospital . You see this urgenct everywhere , in driving trying to get ahead of others, urgency when standing in any line , we stand so close to the other person and lean over them and when trying to buy something dont care about the other person who came before you , you hand with cash reaches the shop keeper much before anyone . All this happens only because of pathetic mentality of our Indians not because the bridges are old or small, if you are disciplined this kind of things never happen.
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