Three people are still in a critical condition after a heavy storm slamed Melbourne on Monday.
THE death toll from Melbourne’s thunderstorm asthma crisis has reached six, and another three patients were last night still fighting for life.
The extreme weather on Monday night spread tiny pollen particles across the city, triggering a rare condition known as thunderstorm asthma.
Health Minister Jill Hennessy yesterday confirmed the sixth death and reaffirmed plans for an extensive probe by the Inspector General for Emergency Management.
“It’s a matter that warrants proper investigation, as well as our compassion,” she said. However, Opposition health spokeswoman Mary Wooldridge criticised the government’s response to the tragedy, saying the planned investigation — the final report is due in April — was not enough.
What is Thuderstorm Asthma?
Ryegrass pollen grains became soaked and broke open in the storm, dispersing very fine, highly allergenic particles, which can penetrate deep into the lungs.
The sixth victim died in in hospital on Saturday night from medical complications stemming from storm, according to the health department.