'Apocalyptic' Scenes in India: Bloated Bodies in the Ganges

They are believed to be COVID-19 victims
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2021 3:59 PM CDT
A New Horror in India: Bodies Wash Up on Ganges' Banks
Family members place a cloth on the body of Rajendra Prasad Mishra, 62, who died due to COVID-19 before cremation by the River Ganges in Prayagraj, India, Saturday, May 8, 2021.   (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

India's difficulty dealing with all of its bodies may have led to this: dozens of "bloated" and "partially burnt" bodies of suspected COVID victims washed up on the banks of the Ganges. The BBC reports it confirmed the presence of the bodies near the Bihar-Uttar Pradesh border, and says locals put the number at a minimum of 40, though local media suggests the count could be more than twice that high. One theory as to the bodies' source is tied to Uttar Pradesh, where coronavirus victims are sometimes cremated along the river. The AFP spoke to locals who speculated the bodies were intentionally disposed of in the river because cremation sites were full or relatives could not afford the cost of wood for funeral pyres.

The Times of India called it an "apocalyptic" scene in the village of Chausa in Bihar. One local there spoke with reporters while covering his face with a cloth. He put the count of bodies as high as 150. "The bodies are of people infected with COVID-19. From the time I am here since morning, I have seen 30-35 bodies. Some people immersed the bodies in the river, while others disposed of half- burnt bodies in the water," he said. Officials say the bodies will be cremated or buried. The AP reports the country reported 360,000 new cases in the past 24 hours Monday, and another 3,700 deaths. (More India stories.)

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