Storm in West Bengal leaves 15 dead

The nor'wester that hit the city and other districts yesterday left 15 persons dead and 50 others injured, the police said today.

Of the 15, seven died in the city, six in Howrah district and one each in Bankura and Hooghly districts respectively, the police said.

Nearly 50 people were injured in incidents of wall collapse, uprooting of trees and electrocution, the police said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has instructed the chief secretary to look into the situation and prepare a report on the damage and deaths caused by the storm.

The disaster management department has been asked to send teams to affected districts, state secretariat officials said.

Among the seven casualties in the city, an autorickshaw driver and a woman died when a tree fell on the vehicle on Lenin Sarani in central Kolkata, the police said.

Two other passengers of the autorickshaw succumbed to their injuries at a hospital late last night.

Of the six deaths in Howrah, four persons were electrocuted after they were struck by lightning in Bali and Belur areas. One death was reported from Andul road when an electric pole fell on a person who was riding a two-wheeler.

A death of a woman has been reported from Dumurjola area of Howrah district, the police said.

The nor'wester which hit the city with a gale force of 98 km per hour at around 7.42 pm yesterday uprooted 200 trees in 26 places of the city and disrupted traffic, the police said.

Metro services were disrupted for over two hours from 7.50 pm.

Suburban train services in Sealdah and Howrah divisions were affected as overhead wires had snapped.

Departure and arrival of some flights, too, were delayed because of the gusty winds. 

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