A tribal woman died in Odisha's Mayurbhanj district after giving birth at her home, with her family blaming the national ambulance service for failing to transport her to a hospital in time, police said on Friday. 

The incident occurred last evening at Saitpur village, about 40 km from here. A case of unnatural death has been registered and the incident is being probed, Dhiren Chandra Nanda, Sub-divisional Police Officer of Betanati said. Kuni Kisku (30) delivered a baby boy at her home before she breathed her last, her family said.

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 "Her husband Bhajan Kisku said he had made an SOS call to 108, the national ambulance service helpline, to take his wife to Betanati community health centre (CHC), about 12 km away at least one hour before her death. The woman bled profusely while giving birth," the police officer said. As the ambulance service did not respond despite repeated calls, the family contacted the district headquarter hospital at Mayurbhanj, about 40 km away. 

With the help of local community health workers, the woman and the newborn were finally taken to Betanati CHC when the hospital ambulance arrived nearly two hours late. "She (Kuni) was received dead at the CHC," Dr Salman Gagvi, who was on duty, said adding the hospital had no control over the functioning of 108 or 102 ambulance service. 

District Project Manager of National Health Mission, Deepak Kumar Sahu said the incident was being enquired into and appropriate steps would be taken. The newborn was later shifted to Baripada district headquarter hospital last night as his condition deteriorated, hospital authorities said.