Lightning kills 27 in eastern India, says official




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Officials 27 were killed after lightning struck in various parts of India’s of West Bengal.

The pre-monsoon storms hit six districts of the on Monday, accompanied by strong winds.

While most were directly hit by the strikes, some deaths were also after thatched huts and trees collapsed disaster official Mrinal Kanti Rano said.

The were mostly farmers, though some were who simply happened to be outdoors, he added.

In the worst such incident, a lightning bolt struck six sitting near a pump house in Murshidabad district, Rano said.

“We do get such storms in the pre-monsoon time, but the high this time is unusual.

Generally, (we) have two to five fatalities during such incidents, but this time it is several times higher,” Rano said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief at the loss of life.

He announced compensation of 200,000 rupees (2,746 dollars) for the next of kin of those who had died and 50,000 rupees for each person.

In a related incident, a domestic flight was hit by turbulence just before landing at the capital, Kolkata, leaving eight passengers .

Summer storms accompanied by strong winds are common in India ahead of the rainy monsoon .

The weather bureau has forecast more storms for India in the coming days.

(dpa/NAN)