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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Thunderstorm kills 13, injures 12 in dists

27 May 2012
statesman news service

MALDA/DURGAPUR, 27 MAY: A parched Malda district tried everything possible to appease the rain god. And, ultimately, the rain god obliged with the skies opening up thus providing the necessary relief from the tormenting sun. The joy, however, was short-lived with the death of three persons in lightning at Habibpur block this afternoon.
Pinki Mandal (10) of Kaliachak went to his maternal grandmother Bimala Mandal’s house at Krishnanagar village under Habibpur police station today on Jamai Sashthi, along with his parents.
As a storm raged, Pinki, along with Bimala (60), ran to a nearby orchard to collect mangoes. But, suddenly they were struck by lightning. They were taken to Bulbulchandi hospital where doctors pronounced them dead.
Nagen Soren (50) of Lotadanga village of Bulbulchandi gram panchayat under Habibpur block was electrocuted while he was in the fields for cultivation. The BDO of Habibpur, Mr Avijit Ghosh, confirmed that three persons were killed in lightning in his block. Mr Ghosh said: “Compensation is granted to the relatives of the victims of electrocution. We’ve to see if the family members are entitled for compensation.”
Meanwhile, two hours of rain in the district brought relief after more than a week. The meteorological department recorded 21.5 mm rain. Maximum temperature recorded was 36.6 degrees Celsius with a maximum humidity of 90 per cent. Weather pundits have forecast rain for another two days in Malda.
Rain, accompanied by a thunderstorm, brought much-needed relief to the parched district of Burdwan but not before claiming 10 lives in  lightning and injuring 12 others this evening. Three persons, including a woman and a minor girl, were killed when lightning struck Habibpur block in Malda this afternoon.
The storm, packing winds up to 70 kmph, accompanied by lightning, struck several villages in Katwa, Kalna and Burdwan (South & North) sub-divisions at around 5 p.m. today when most of the victims were either on their way back home from fields or were fishing in ponds. Many were injured as uprooted trees fell on them or in wall collapse in Bhatar, Ausgram, Khandaghosh, Mongalkote and Purbasthali blocks.
Babul Shah (40) and his son Taufik (15) were fishing in a pond in Bhagra village in the Monteswar police station area. They were the first victims of lightning. Tarapada Majhi (17) of Majhipara in Burdwan (South) and Biswajit Kundu (32) of Alampur in Katwa, both farmers, were also killed by lightning. SP, Burdwan, Mr SHM Meerza, said: “Five others died in Mongalkote, Ausgram and Shaktigarh areas. The police have started rescue work in many villages as roads were blocked by uprooted trees.”
Cousin brothers Supada Santra (42) and Basudev Santra (36), residents of Kantari village in Katwa, were killed after being struck by lightning when they had taken shelter under a tree during the storm. Jhantu Das (41) of Kshirgram in the Mongalkote police station area also died after being struck by lightning. Two shepherds, Sheikh Mokshed (35) of Santoshpur village and Sheikh Ranga (22) of Sonakurgram, in the Burdwan police station area, were charred to death after being struck by lightning. Two cows died in Santoshpur village. A labourer from Midnapore, Manohar Baske (70), was killed by lightning in Jhikra village in the Mongalkote police station area. Two others died in the Ausgram police station area.
The DM, Mr Onkar S Meena, said: “The families of the lightning victims would be provided relief worth Rs 2 lakh each.”

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