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8 including 7 children dead in lightning strike in Bihar

Eight persons, seven of them children aged 15 years or below, were killed while as many were injured when lightning struck them in this central Bihar district Friday afternoon, an official said.

According to Sub Divisional Officer, Sadar, Nawada, Anu Kumar, the children were residents of Dhanpur Musahari village falling under Kalichak police station area and had taken shelter under a tree while it was raining.

The deceased have been identified as Ramesh Manjhi (26), Chhotu Manjhi, Ganesh Manjhi and Monu Manjhi (all 15 years old), Nitish Manjhi (12), Pravesh Kumar (10), Chhotu Manjhi (08) and Muni Lal Manjhi (05), Kumar said.

In addition, eight others were injured and seven of them were being treated at the Sadar hospital while the condition of another was stated to be critical and he has been admitted to Pavapuri in the adjoining Nalanda district, the official said.

Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar issued a statement expressing grief over the tragedy and announcing an ex-gratia of Rs four lakh to the next of the kin of each deceased.

He also issued instructions for proper medical assistance to those who have sustained injuries, a release issued by the Chief Ministers office said.

Former Chief Minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha president Jitan Ram Manjhi issued a statement expressing grief and demanding that the ex-gratia amount be raised to Rs 20 lakh each.

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