Mumbai: Angry hornet kills man at a BMC garden in Borivli

Jun 30, 2018, 13:16 IST | A Correspondent

Officials will pay a visit on Saturday before taking a decision

Mumbai: Angry hornet kills man at a BMC garden in Borivli
A worker does fogging of Veer Savarkar garden in Borivli over suspicion of a hornet

A 55-year-old Borivli resident died in Veer Savarkar garden on Wednesday. While the buzz is that Pankaj Shah succumbed to the sting of a hornet, the post-mortem report is inconclusive. Playing safe, the civic body shut the garden for two days. Officials will pay a visit on Saturday before taking a decision.

Family vs hospital
Kirit Shah said, “He was my younger brother and stayed with me. He'd been suffering from Ankylosing spondylitis since he was 25... "He'd left home at 9.45 am that day; a while later, we got a call about him being stung. I sent my son to take him to hospital; there, we were told he is critical, and by evening, he was no more. Hospital authorities didn't let us to meet him during his last hours. They insisted on carrying out the post-mortem, even though it was clear the sting had killed him."

Killing a man. Pics/Nimesh Dave
Killing a man. Pics/Nimesh Dave

Dr Ravi Bhatnagar from Karuna hospital said, "The patient was in shock when admitted. We carried out the necessary treatment, as he had marks on his head, hand and face; but there are no anti-venoms available for this, like in the case of snake bites. "On Friday, when a BMC team visited our hospital with its entomology expert, we were told about the attack." Rubbishing the family's allegations, he added, "We don't stop relatives from meeting the patient, but when treatment is on, we ask them to wait. There wasn't any kind of mistreatment from our end."

BMCspeak
Assistant Municipal Commissioner of R-central ward Ramakant Biradar said, "We will open the garden once we are sure there are no bees around."

"Hornets attack if disturbed, but a leaf or rain can also disturb them. We've taken preventive steps, sprayed insecticide and filled the cavity where their honeycomb might have been," said a garden department official.

Expert opinion
Dr Freston Marc Sirur, MD, Emergency Medicine
'The deceased may have had multiple stings from a hymenoptera species [large order of insects that includes bees, wasps, ants and sawflies]... complications of which include upper airway obstruction, leading to suffocation or hypoxia, hypotension and shock resulting in damage to vital organ systems. Massive hymenoptera attacks are emergencies and must not be ignored; the morbidity of complications depends on timely and appropriate treatment. But a patient can die even before reaching the hospital. So, it's important to not disturb these creatures in their natural environment. They are best left alone.'

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