Lightning strikes in different parts of Odisha today claimed the lives of 16 people and left over a dozen injured, raising the toll in such incidents to 34 since yesterday. Four persons were killed in separate incidents in Cuttack district while three deaths each were reported from Sambalpur and Khurda districts. One each died in Puri, Mayurbhanj, Deogarh, Angul, Dhenkanal and Bargarh districts, official sources said. Eighteen people had died after being struck by lightning in the state yesterday, the sources said. Most of the victims were farm labourers who were engaged in paddy fields when lightning struck.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today announced ex-gratia of Rs four lakh each for the families of the 18 people. In Cuttack district today, three people were killed in lightning strikes in Kadalibada, Dorada and Manipur villages of Athgarh area, while one died in Nischintakoili area, they said. Eight school students sustained burn injuries after lightning struck their school building in Athgarh area, sources said. In Sambalpur district, lightning claimed the lives of three persons in Jagannathprasad, Kutasingha and Balasingha in Naktideul area, District Emergency Officer (DEO), Sanjeev Kumar Pujari said.
14-year-old boy died at Jhinkijhari, while the two others were killed at Andharua and Dhauli areas near Bhubaneswar, in Khurda district In Deogarh, it was a school teacher who was killed near Kharumunda as lightning struck when he was returning after attending a meeting, officials said. A farm labourer was killed in Arpata in Mayurbhanj after being hit by lightning when he was working in the paddy field, police said.