Nine persons killed, 23 injured in lightning strikes in Garhwa villages
Nine persons were killed and 23 injured in three separate incidents of lightning strikes in Garhwa district on Thursday. Chief minister Raghubar Das has expressed grief over the deaths and has ordered the district administration to immediately pay compensation of ₹four lakh each to the bereaved family.
In a major incident of natural calamity, eight persons were killed, six of them on the spot, when lightning struck a tree they were sitting under. Two more died during treatment at Sadar Hospital Garhwa. The incident occurred at Loharpurva village under the Majhianw police station of the district. The two injured were undergoing treatment at Garhwa hospital.
Anil Choudhary, one of the villagers said, “The deceased were sitting under a Mahua tree, playing cards and operating mobiles when the lightning struck. At that time as it was not raining, they could not apprehend the lurking danger. Heavy showers came afterwards only.”
The deceased were identified as Krishana Chaudhary (15), Anu Chaudhary (16), Shubham Chaudhary (20), Pawan Chaudhary (18), Sonu Chaudhary (18), Sanjay Chaudhary (20), Sunil Chaudhary (27) and Raju Chaudhary (21). All the deceased belonged to the same Tola of the village and only one of them was married. Four of the victims belonged to same family and were brothers.
The Garhwa deputy commissioner (DC) Harsh Mangla said, “The bereaved families will be handed over compensation within twenty-four hours. We have already started working on this.”
The DC also appealed to the people to take shelter at a dry place during rains and not to operate electronic equipment so as to ensure their safety.
Meanwhile, Ishwar Sagar Chandravanshi, son of the health minister Ramchandra Chandravanshi, handed over a financial assistance of ₹five thousand each to the bereaved families for their last rites.
In another incident, as many as 19 girl students of a high school at Kharaundhi sustained injuries after lightning hit the school building. The headmaster of the school Shashi Bhushan Pathak said, “The injured are all students of Class 8,9 and 10 and were attending classes at the time of the incident.”
The Kharaundhi Mukhiya Upendra Bharati said, “If the school had lightning conductor, the students could not have been injured.” On the other hand, headmaster said that the school had lightning conductor installed but it was damaged by the locals.
On Wednesday evening, Nagina Ram was killed in similar lightning strike when he was fishing along with his friend Babloo Ram and Ramlal at Akalwani village in Meral police station. His friends were injured in the incident. The local administration handed over a cash assistance of ₹two thousand to the bereaved family on Thursday.