KOLKATA: At least 12 people, including four children, were killed and over 15 injured in different districts of West Bengal, after lightning struck them amid heavy rains today, an official of the state disaster management department said.
Five deaths were reported from Howrah district's Uluberia sub-division, while there were two deaths each in Paschim Midnapore, North 24 Parganas and Nadia districts, and one in Murshidabad district, he said.
A person in Howrah district suffered serious injuries and was undergoing treatment at a local hospital, the official said.
According to Murshidabad district police, Shankar Mondal (50) was working at a field in Jalangi area of the district, when he was killed in a lightning strike.
In Howrah district, among the five dead, four children, aged between 8 and 12 years, were in a field collecting mangoes during a thunderstorm when lightning hit them in Bordanga under Uluberia police station, a police officer said.
The boys were taken to a local hospital where they were declared brought dead, he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said her government would provide assistance to the families of the deceased, as well as those whose houses and crops have been damaged.
"We do not have control over nature.
We will not be able to bring back those who have died, but our government will be beside these families and help them in every possible manner," she told a news channel.
Reiterating that the model code of conduct ahead of tomorrow's panchayat elections in the state was not applicable in case of a disaster, she said the chief secretary has been asked to carry out a survey of the losses.
"We are yet to ascertain the estimate of the damages.
We will do a survey based on which we will help the families," Banerjee said.