A total of 413,457 people were victims of natural and unnatural "accidental deaths" in the country in 2015, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
Deaths due to forces of nature have been termed as "natural accidental deaths" while deaths blamed on deliberate or negligent conduct of humans is termed in official records as "unnatural accidental deaths".
According to the NCRB compilation of "Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India 2015", the 413,457 deaths in this category in 2015 amounted to 47 deaths every hour.
This was a decline of 8.5 per cent from the 2014 figure of 451,757 accidental deaths.
The number of accidental deaths due to causes attributable to forces of nature -- lightning, heat/sun stroke, exposure to cold, flood, landslides, avalanche, epidemic, torrential rains and forest fire -- have crashed by 48 per cent.
And deaths by unnatural causes including traffic accidents, drowning, accidental fire, electrocution, air crash, stampede, mines disaster, deaths during pregnancy, killing by animals, illicit liquor, snake bites and food poisoning decreased by 6.6 per cent in 2015 over 2014.
Of the 413,457 accidental deaths, 10,510 (2.5 per cent) were due to natural causes, 336,051 (81.3 per cent) due to unnatural causes and 66,896 (16.2 per cent) due to other causes, it said.
The age group of most victims was between 18 and 45 years. This group accounted for 59.7 per cent of all unnatural deaths in 2015.
Females and males constituted 20.6 per cent and 79.4 per cent respectively of the victims. Every one of nine victims who suffered accidental deaths were children -- below 18 years of age.
A total of 37,081 senior citizens (60 years and above) also got killed in various accidents in 2015.
Maharashtra reported the highest number of 64,566 accidental deaths or nearly 15.6 percent of the total followed by Madhya Pradesh (40,629), Uttar Pradesh (36,982), Tamil Nadu (33,665) and Gujarat (28,468).
The highest rate of accidental deaths took place in Chhattisgarh (75.1 per cent) followed by Puducherry (73.4), Maharashtra (54.2), Madhya Pradesh (52.7), Haryana (48.8) and Tamil Nadu (48.7).
A total of 1,624 incidents of consumption of illicit spurious liquor caused 1,522 deaths in 2015. Most of these deaths were reported in Maharashtra (278) followed by Puducherry (149), Madhya Pradesh (246), Chhattisgarh (140), Uttar Pradesh (125) and Haryana (115).
At least 58 cases of accidental fire in trains were reported during 2015 which caused 59 deaths in the country.
A total of 69,372 accidental deaths were reported in 53 mega cities. Mumbai reported the maximum number (8,286 or 11.9 per cent) followed by Delhi (5,930), Pune (4,665), Chennai (3,952) and Bengaluru (3,733).
(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org )