One killed, 16 injured in lightning in Kolkata

Kolkata, Aug 16 (IANS) One person was killed and sixteen others were injured in a lightning strike near Kolkata's Victoria Memorial as heavy rain lashed the city for around two hours on Friday, police said.

The deceased, identified as Subir Pal from North 24 Parganas district's Dumdum, was among a group of people who took shelter under a big tree near the Victoria Memorial to shield themselves from the incessant downpour.

"A person was killed after being hit by a lightning strike near the gate number three (of Victoria Memorial) around 3.30 p.m. Many sustained injuries in the incident," a CISF personnel, deployed to guard the monument, said.

"We brought 16 injured people to the SSKM Hospital. Some of them were critically injured. However, a few have been released after being given first aid," he said.

Heavy rainfall, triggered by a cyclonic circulation over Bangladesh, lashed Kolkata and the districts of Gangetic West Bengal.

In Kolkata, many key roads were waterlogged following the rain.

According to the Met Office, places including Mominpur, Behala, Ballygunj, Kalighat in south Kolkata received more than 50 cm rainfall till 4 p.m.

The traffic was thrown completely out of gear.

City Mayor Firhad Hakim has condoled the person's death.

"The amount of rainfall in the city has been way more than the capacity of the pumps we have. Hence some places have become waterlogged. Our workers are doing everything in their capacity to keep the situation under control," Hakim said.

--IANS

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