Scores of dead bodies have been found floating down the Ganges River in eastern India as the country battles a ferocious surge in coronavirus infections. Authorities said Tuesday they haven’t yet determined the cause of death.
Health officials working through the night Monday retrieved 71 bodies, officials in Bihar state said.
Images on social media of the bodies floating in the river prompted outrage and speculation that they died from COVID-19. Authorities performed postmortems on Tuesday but said they could not confirm the cause of death due to the decomposition of the bodies.
More corpses were found floating in the river on Tuesday, washing up in Ghazipur district in neighboring Uttar Pradesh state. Police and villagers were at the site, about 30 miles from Monday’s incident.
“We are trying to find out where did these dead bodies come from? How did they get here?” said Mangla Prasad Singh, a local official.
Surinder, a resident of Ghazipur who uses one name, said villagers didn’t have enough wood to cremate their dead on land.