At least eight people were killed, including six in lightning, as heavy pre-monsoon showers flooded southern areas of West Bengal, with most parts of Kolkata reeling under knee to waist deep water, disrupting bus and train services.
"Three people died in lightning in the morning in a fish market at Kestopur in north Kolkata. Four were injured in the incident," Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia told IANS even as reports from other parts of the city and south Bengal said a total of nine people were killed.
According to the police, two youths died of electrocution in Murchipara area of north Kolkata.
More lightning deaths were reported from the southern districts. While two died at Haringhata in Nadia district, one died at Kustia in Burdwan district.
Heavy rains affected normal life in Kolkata with railway tracks submerged and roads under knee-deep waters in most areas.
"Waterlogging is there but we tried our best to pump out the water," said Kolkata Mayor Bikash Bhattacharya even as the city's drainage system once again crumbled under a few hours of heavy rainfall.
Most schools and colleges remained closed for the day.
Railway sources said several trains on both Sealdah and Howrah sections were disrupted. Trains were delayed owing to signalling problems and waterlogging on the tracks.
"On Howrah section, the disruption and delays were due to signalling and telecommunication problems as well as frequent tripping of power," said an Eastern Railway spokesman.
"In Sealdah section, services were suspended for hours while the city's circular railway was totally inoperative because of submerged tracks," the official said.
However, flights were not affected due to the inclement weather, VK Monga, Director of the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport, told IANS.
"Flights are taking off and landing. But a Druk Air flight had to come back after taking off because of the weather," Monga said.
LR Meena, deputy director of the meteorological office, told IANS, "There were heavy rains in and around Kolkata and we can say that the monsoon is arriving on time," he added.