Lightning claims 7 lives; death toll 17 in four days

Bhubaneswar: With the death of seven people at separate places on Sunday, the death toll due to lightning incidents across the State have now reached at least 17 in last four days.

As many as seven persons were killed and two others critically injured in lightning incidents at Shankarabahal  village in Sundergarh district and four separate places in Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts.

Lightning claimed lives of three persons and injured two others during a hockey match at Shankarabahal  village in Sundergarh. The deceased have been identified as Rabi Narayan Tanti, his friends Susant Gouda and Sumanta Gouda.

As per sources, the trio along with two of their friends took shelter under a tree after it started raining during a hockey match. But unfortunately the three of them died on the spot when a lightning struck the tree. It also reportedly injured Maheswar Tanti and Jaharu Tanti. The duo has been admitted to Sundergarh district headquarters hospital. A pall of gloom has descended over their village after the news of the death of the three youths.

In Balasore, at least three persons were killed in lightning incidents at different places. Ratnakar Behera of Bishnupur village under Bahanagar block, Hareskrushna Behera of Bati village under Simulia police limits were killed in lightning incidents while a labour was also killed at Kupalri village under Khaira police limits while working on farmland. As many as three houses were also gutted after a fire broke out following a lightning strike at Jhinkiria village in Khaira.

A girl was also killed at Sanakeraka village in Mayurbhanj district during a thunderstorm in the evening.

Earlier on June 8, at least ten persons were killed and eight others injured by lightning strikes under the influence of thunderstorms at various places across the State. Three persons including a woman were also killed while four others were injured in lightning strikes in Kalahandi district on June 1.