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Four die during downpour

A hand extended for help around 7pm at Sunny Park after Calcutta’s road transport system melted away in the afternoon downpour. (Right) Ankle-deep water on Free School Street, a pair of legs to dry land.
Pictures by Amit Datta, Bishwarup Dutta, Anup Bhattacharya and Sayantan Ghosh

Lightning and electrocution claimed four lives in Howrah and Calcutta during Wednesday’s downpour.

Manu Jaiswal, a Class XII student, and Sohan Sonkar, 24, were fishing at a lake near Avani Mall in Howrah when lightning struck around 3pm. They were taken to Howrah District Hospital, where they were declared dead on arrival.

Around 3.30pm, two truck drivers who were trying to park their vehicles under a tree near the lake found the duo lying unconscious. They alerted local youths, who took Jaiswal and Sonkar to the hospital in a car.

“Both bodies were charred,” said an officer of Shibpur police station.

In Calcutta, two men aged around 45 died after accidentally touching feeder boxes at separate places in the afternoon, the police said. The identity of neither could be established till late on Wednesday.

One of the men touched a feeder box at the crossing of Strand Road and MG Road and fell unconscious around 2pm. He was taken to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital where he was declared dead.

The other pedestrian touched a feeder box near the Howrah Bridge traffic guard on Strand Bank Road. He was declared dead at the same hospital.

A feeder box contains electrical equipment and wiring that control power supply to houses.

“The electrocution deaths did not occur at our installations. We were not at fault in any way,” said a CESC spokesperson.