The last five days in BC have seen an unprecedented number of deaths reported to the BC Coroners Service.
Between Friday and Wednesday, at least 486 sudden and unexpected deaths have been reported to the agency. This number is preliminary and is likely to increase.
The 486 deaths represent a 195% increase over the approximately 165 deaths that would normally occur in the province over a five-day period, said Lisa Lapointe, chief coroner.
“While it is too early to say with certainty how many of these deaths are heat related, it is believed likely that the significant increase in deaths reported is attributable to the extreme weather B.C. has experienced and continues to impact many parts of our province.”
Due to the much-greater-than-usual number of reported deaths in some areas, there have been instances where there have been delays in coroners responding to scenes of reported death.
“It is important we do not lose sight of the fact that each reported death is a person with a family and people who cared about them. Once again, I extend my heartfelt condolences to anyone who has lost a loved one during this very difficult time,” the coroner said.