Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh each for the families of 18 persons who died after lightning struck them yesterday. The death toll was 11 till last reports came in yesterday. A press release issued by the chief minister’s office today said the death toll was 18. Sources at the chief minister’s office said, while 5 people were killed in Bhadrak, 4 in Balasore, 3 in Kendrapara, 2 in Mayurbhanj and 1 each in Keonjhar, Angul, Sundergarh and Ganjam districts.
Most of the victims were working in their fields when lightning struck them, the sources said. Meanwhile, the IMD in a warning said, thunderstorm accompanied by lightning, was likely to occur at many parts of the state in the next 24 hours.