8 killed in India storm

 
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KOLKATA, April 18 (TNS): At least eight people were killed and several others injured on Tuesday after strong winds of up to 98 km per hour hit Indian state of West Bengal’s capital and its adjoining areas, disrupting public transport and traffic, Indian officials said.

Indian media, however, put the death toll at 13.

Five deaths were reported here while two died in Bankura district and one in Howrah district, police said.

“A nor’wester hit the city with a gale force of 98 km per hour around 7.42 pm,” Regional Meteorological Director G K Das said.

Police said uprooted trees blocked at least 26 places, disrupting traffic.

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation pressed into service a disaster management team to clear the debris.

Electrical fires were reported from various parts of the metropolis, a fire department official said.

The New Market police station, located in the heart of the city, plunged into darkness following a short circuit during the storm, he said.

People returning home after work faced traffic jams and snarls, as metro and train services were hit.