Three children and a woman were killed and six others injured after being struck by lightning near Vijaynagar in the Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh on Monday.
Reportedly, the incident occurred when the people were gathered to extend help in a fellow villager’s farm at Gandhigram village in Vijaynagar.
At least six other persons, including students are said to have received injuries. The dead have been identified as Jalina Yobin (12), Chanisa Yobin (14), Chathaye Yobin (13) and Sholida Yobin (38).
Among the injured are four women, one man and an eight year old boy.
Air service is the only option to carry out immediate evacuations from a place like Gandhigram, which takes at least four to five days of trekking to cover a distance of over 100 kilometre to reach the nearest town of Miao in eastern Arunachal Pradesh. Even if a helicopter is pressed into service, the nearest helipad at Vijaynagar is about 25 kilometres from Gandhigram.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu, in a late night message, said that chopper service will be made available to Vijaynagar to evacuate the injured persons. He directed the district administration to immediately provide all possible assistance to the victims.
Khandu, while expressing deep sorrow over the unfortunate incident, announced immediate release of ex-gratia to the next of kin according to the laid down norms.
While appealing to the people to be cautious during monsoon which creates havoc every year and claims precious lives, the chief minister advised all to be in preparedness to tackle such natural calamity.