Raipur (India) (AFP) - Eight women have died in India and dozens more are in hospital, many in a critical condition after a state-run mass sterilisation, a local official said on Tuesday.
Many of the more than 80 women who underwent sterilisation at the free government-run camp in the central state of Chhattisgarh on Saturday fell ill shortly afterwards, the official told AFP.
"Reports of a drop in pulse, vomiting and other ailments started pouring in on Monday from the women who underwent surgery," said Sonmani Borah, the commissioner for Bilaspur district where the camp was held.
"Since Monday eight women have died and 64 are in various hospitals."
Television footage showed women on stretchers being rushed into hospital with anxious relatives by their side.
Borah said authorities would investigate the incident.
Local governments in India often offer incentives such as cars and electrical goods to couples volunteering for sterilisation to try to control the country's billion-plus population.
Authorities in eastern India came under fire last year after a news channel unearthed footage showing scores of women dumped unconscious in a field following a mass sterilisation.
The women had all undergone surgical procedures at a hospital that local officials said was not equipped to accommodate such a large number of patients.
The Indian Express daily said the surgeries in Chhattisgarh were carried out by one doctor and his assistant in around five hours.
"There was no negligence. He is a senior doctor. We will probe (the incident)," the chief medical officer of Bilaspur R.K. Bhange told the newspaper.