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Storm kills father and son

Alipurduar, April 20: A boy and his father died after a tree fell on their tea shop during a 10-minute storm which wrecked havoc at Jayanti Bazaar in Buxa Tiger Reserve yesterday.

The storm also damaged more than 100 huts in Phaskhawa, Chuniajhora and Rahimabad Tea Estate, blew a pandal built for a marriage ceremony where around 100 people were present and damaged several electric poles.

Narayan Ghosh, the range officer of Jayanti, said: “The main road towards Jayanti was closed as a number of big trees had fallen. Hasimara Fire Brigade and Kalchini police had to wait till 4am to clear the roads.” The storm started around 11.30pm last night at Jayanti Bazaar, around 34km from Alipurduar. Krishtinath Sha, 55, and his son Chottu Sha, 18, were sleeping in their pucca tea stall when a huge tree fell. They died on the spot.

Souvik Choudhury, manager of Phaskhawa garden, said: “More than 50 huts here have been damaged and the storm has wrecked havoc on 140 hectares of plantation land. The loss is not less than Rs 35 lakh .”