Heatwave tragedy: 33 Indian polling staff die from heatstroke on final voting day

Lucknow, India – A tragic incident unfolded in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh as 33 polling staff lost their lives on the final day of voting due to heatstroke, according to a top election official on Sunday. The scorching temperatures that engulfed the state led to an alarming death toll, highlighting the extreme conditions faced by election workers.

The India Meteorological Department reported that temperatures in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, soared to 46.9 degrees Celsius, exacerbating the already challenging situation for those working in the intense heat. Chief electoral officer Navdeep Rinwa confirmed the tragic deaths, which included polling personnel, security guards, and sanitation staff who succumbed to the severe heat.

Rinwa expressed condolences to the families of the deceased and announced that monetary compensation would be provided to them. The incident underscored the risks faced by individuals exposed to high temperatures without adequate protection or hydration.

In addition to the polling staff fatalities, Rinwa also recounted a harrowing incident in Ballia city where a voter collapsed while waiting in line to cast a ballot. Despite efforts to transport the individual to a health facility, he was pronounced dead upon arrival, further emphasizing the deadly consequences of the extreme heatwave.

The impact of climate change on heatwaves is a growing concern, with scientists warning that rising global temperatures are contributing to longer, more frequent, and more intense heatwaves. These extreme weather events pose a significant threat to vulnerable populations, especially in regions where infrastructure and resources may be insufficient to cope with such conditions.

As the nation grapples with the aftermath of the heat-related tragedies, attention remains focused on the outcome of the elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is poised for a potential third consecutive victory, with exit polls indicating a strong lead in the election results. The final verdict is eagerly awaited, with the official announcement scheduled for Tuesday.