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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: As many as 280 people including 27 children were killed due to lightning since April this year, official sources said today.

Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) B P Sethi said Ganjam and Mayurbhanj districts reported the highest number of 30 deaths each while Sonepur has recorded zero casualty. The deaths due to lightning occurred in 29 of the 30 districts of the state, he added.

Both Ganjam and Mayurbhanj were followed by 24 deaths in Balasore, 17 in Bhadrak, 16 in Keonjhar, 15 each in Jajpur and Kendrapara, 13 in Koraput, 12 in Nabarangpur, and 11 each in Dhenkanal, Cuttack and Bargarh.

Among the other districts, eight persons were killed in Sundargarh, while seven each in Angul, Kalahandi, Khordha and Nuapada, six in Puri, five each in Balangir and Sambalpur, four in Nayagarh, three each in Gajapati, Jagatsinghpur, Jharsuguda, Kandhamal and Rayagada, two in Deogarh and one each in Boudh and Malkangiri.

A total of 206 (73.57 per cent) of those killed were male while 74 were (26.43 per cent) female. Most of the 92 (32.86 per cent) deaths occurred in the month of June.

It was followed by 88 (31.43 per cent) deaths in July, 28 (10 per cent) in August (so far) and eight (2.86 per cent) in April.

A total of 157 or 56.07 per cent of those killed belong to the age group between 15 and 45, while another 72 or 25.71 per cent to the age group between 46 and 60.

A total of 27 children (9.64 per cent) upto the age of 14 died due to lightning. Another 24 persons (8.57 per cent) who were killed were aged 61 and above.

At least 94 people (33.57 per cent) were struck by lightning when they were working in paddy fields. Another 59 persons (21.07 per cent) and 40 persons (14.29 per cent) were struck when they were near their house and open fields respectively. However, 8.21 per cent people died while they were inside the house.

Lightning struck 33 persons (11.79 per cent) as they stood under trees and 23 persons (8.21 per cent) were killed while travelling on the road.

Four persons were killed while they were bathing in ponds or tube wells. Another three died while riding bikes and one person died while standing on the roof top.

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