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18 Killed, Several Injured As Thunderstorm Wreaks Havoc in Kolkata & Adjoining Areas

Most of the city roads clogged due to uprooted trees, lamp posts and guard rails. Flight and train services were also badly affected and hundreds of passengers and daily commuters had a harrowing time at Howrah, Kolkata and Sealdah railway stations till midnight.

Sujit Nath | News18

Updated:April 18, 2018, 9:22 PM IST
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Kolkata: At least 18 people were killed and several others injured on Tuesday night after strong winds – nearly 100 kmph – accompanied by heavy rains wreaked havoc in Kolkata and its surrounding areas.

The storm which lasted for nearly 45 minutes uprooted several trees, tripped power supply and affected the normal traffic services in the city.

Most of the city roads clogged due to uprooted trees, lamp posts and guard rails. Flight and train services were also badly affected and hundreds of passengers and daily commuters had a harrowing time at Howrah, Kolkata and Sealdah railway stations till midnight.

An Airport official said, “The ATC issued a warning and asked all hovering flights to maintain a safe height to avoid the squall. Flight services disrupted from 7.45 PM to 8.30 PM."

Now, situation is back to normal.

Speaking to News18, Director of Regional Meteorological Centre, Kolkata, Ganesh Kumar Das, said, “We had predicted the thundershower and accordingly warning had been issued especially to farmers and fishermen. On Tuesday night the speed of wind,which we recorded at Alipore, was 98kmph.”

“The first storm hit around 7.40 pm with a speed of 84 kmph. The second one that hit the city and its adjoining around 7.55 pm, was stronger with a speed of 98 kmph, accompanied by heavy rain," he added.

“Today the weather will be normal in Kolkata but tomorrow onwards the city will be little warmer,” he added.

At Central Kolkata near Lenin Sarani - an autorickshaw driver and a woman passenger died after a tree fell on their vehicle around 8 pm near Jyoti cinema hall.

Near Park Circus area in Kolkata, Md Sahid Khan – a leather products trader - was killed after a portion of terrace fell on him. His friend Arzu received severe head injuries, is admitted in a local nursing home. His condition is stated to be critical.

Two electrocution deaths were reported from Howrah. Three deaths reported from Behala area, Burrabazar and Panchannagram. All of them were killed after concrete chunks fell on them when they took shelter to save themselves from heavy rains.

On Wednesday morning, the state government swung in to action and engaged a large number of civil defence, police and municipal officials to ensure normal traffic and other amenities.

Train services were also restored in the morning at Howrah and Sealdah railway stations.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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