On September 4, Sukesh Munda of Joy Birpara Tea Estate died of an enteric infection, bringing the number of tea worker deaths from the disease to four in a one-week period. By September 5, 250 workers from the estate had been admitted to hospital - over 100 of them on a single day.
The water-borne disease, of which acute diarrhoea is the main symptom, first showed up at the end of August at the Dheklapara estate, one of the many plantations which have been closed in India's enduring tea crisis. At least three child deaths have been recorded there.
The local hospital in Biapara which has only 100 beds is unable to cope with the number of patients, who have to share beds or sleep on blankets on the floor.