Bhubaneswar: As many as 40 people were killed and more than 50 seriously injured in lightning in several places across Odisha on Saturday.
According to sources, while the highest number of eight deaths was reported from Bhadrak, seven persons each were killed in Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts, six in Khurda district, three in Jajpur, two in Nayagarh and one each in Kendrapara, Sambalpur and Keonjhar districts.
Reports from Balasore district said Ajaya Jena (26) and Padmalochan Jena of Angula village of Soro block died on the spot after being struck by lightning while they were working in their field. Gajendra Patra (56) of Jagannathpur village was the third person to die in lightning. Besides, Gouri Patra, a woman of Basta area of the district was seriously injured in lightning. The lightning took place at about 11.30 AMwhen rain and thundershower suddenly lashed Soro area. Another person of Nilagiri area was seriously injured.
In Bhadrak district, two persons were killed and two others seriously injured after they were struck by lightning in Bisalapatta village of Banta block. The incident took place while the deceased and injured were working in their field. Besides, two persons of Balichaturi village of Saya panchayat under Tihidi block, two persons of Panibhandara and Manipur villages, and a woman of Kusananagar village in the district were also killed while one person of Dhamnagar area was seriously injured.
Reports from Keonjhar district said a person died of lightning in Dantia village of Ramachandrapur block while in Angarua village five persons were seriously injured.
In Khurda district, one person of Jamujhari village and four persons of Sundarpur village were killed while eight persons of Balipatapur village were seriously injured. Besides, a person of Sathilo village under Balianta block in the district was also killed.
In Mayurbhanj district, a girl in Digidhar village of Thakurmunda block was killed while a student of Hariharpur village of Sarankul block and a person of Kampalu village of Ranpur block Nayagarh district died of lightning.
In Jajpur district, one person of Sodi village in Panikoili block, one of Kampalu village under Dharmasala block and another person of Mangalpur village of Sukinda block were killed.
In Kendrapara district, a person of Kumbharapada village under Mahakalapada block was killed in lightning.
In Sambalpur district, a woman of Kundiberana village under Laikera police limits was killed.
A stone fell off from the Jambeswar temple in Bhubaneswar under the impact of lightning.
Expressing profound grief over the sad incident, chief minister Naveen Patnaik today directed the concerned authorities to immediately release the ex-gratia to the tune of Rs 4 lakh to each family of the deceased as per the Relief Code.