Bolt from the blue kills 10

The joy and revelry of a group of villagers of Uttar Harishpur at Udaynarayanpur block of Howrah district during Kali puja turned to grief and mourning as lightning struck them on Sunday afternoon killing 10 and injuring 16. Two of those killed are women. The condition of four is said to be critical.

Most of the victims were returning home after immersing the idol.

The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of those who died and promised to bear the medical expenses of those who are injured.

Around 4.30 pm, a sudden thundershower lashed the area forcing people who were working in the field to take shlter in the temple when lightning struck them.

The injured were rushed to Udanaryanpur state general hospital. Four were sent to various Kolkata hospitals.

The dead include Triloka Bala Porel,(70) Bhim Porel(45) , Borna Porel(18) , Tumpa Porel(38) , Labkush Porel(40), Subrata Dhara(35) alias Bhola, Shyamsundar Mailk(20), Bidyut Dhara(20) Bharat Dolui, Bhim Malik,

"We started rescue operations quickly and we arranged for hospitalisation of those who were injured,'' said Sanghamitra Ghosh, District Magistrate of Howrah.

Locals said of four dead belong to a same family.

Railway Minister Mukul Roy and state Agricultural Marketing Minister Arup Roy have reached the spot to supervise relief work. Roy said they visited the hospitals and checked whether the injured are getting proper treatment.

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