A total of 607 people have died of heart attacks in suburban railway premises and inside trains in three years. Figures given to dna by the Mumbai railway police commissionerate show that 206 people died in 2013, 200 in 2014 and 201 in 2015. The railway police ascribed these deaths to ‘heart attacks and suspected cardiological issues’. Railway officials, while acknowledging that an in-depth study is needed to pinpoint the exact reason, said that it is possible that a large number of deaths occurred due to the stress that suburban commuting – and its saturation levels- builds up among commuters.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dr Ajay Chourasiya, head of cardiology department, B Y L Nair Hospital, explained: “Anxiety and stress with fluctuation of blood pressure lead to rupture of plaque. This leads to accumulation of platelets which causes thrombosis. It, in turn, cuts regional blood supply of the heart, which causes heart attack. “In urban areas, we see such cases in crowded areas. Everybody is in a rat race to meet targets in the stipulated time. There are also factors like dehydration, sweat and humidity, which play a major role in a person having a heart attack.”The average Mumbaikar’s commute is among the most taxing in the world. Several peak-hour trains have something called the Super Dense Crush Load – railway lingo for a situation where around 16 people are crammed into a square metre of a coach. A survey by the railways a couple of years ago threw up some startling numbers – like how during the morning peak hour (8.30 am – 9.30 am), there are 5,560 people inside a 12-coach train when the ideal capacity is 3,522 — an overloading of almost 58%. A slow train during the morning peak hour has around 4,182 passengers, an overloading of 18%. During the evening peak hour, trains carry as many as 5,568 passengers– an overloading of 58%. A slow train will have around 4,573 passengers, an overload of 29%. The ideal capacity of 3,522 is calculated by assuming that for every seat (total 1,174), there will be two passengers standing. An overload of anything above 15% is inhuman.”In case a train gets cancelled during peak hours, those that follow it will be so crowded that looking at the platform gives you palpitations. Moreover, you can’t give crowded trains as an excuse for reaching office late,” said a regular commuter Manish Chaturvedi. “At smaller stations, there is hardly any entry space for 4-5 people per door but there might be almost 20 people waiting. Fights among commuters while boarding trains clearly show how high-strung stress makes them,”he said.

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Mumbai’s suburban train stress kills 200 people per year