Dust storm kills 18 in Uttar Pradesh

At least 18 people were killed and property worth several million rupees damaged in a dust storm that hit Lucknow and other parts of Uttar Pradesh late Thursday, officials said Friday.

Three people died in the state capital and Barabanki, 11 were killed in Jalaun, two in Kasganj and two in Faizabad after hutments were uprooted and houses collapsed in gutsy winds that reached up to 75 km per hour.

A two-year-old was buried alive in Dubagga area of the state capital when the wall of a school caved in.

More than 500 hoardings across the state collapsed and half a dozen trains, including the Farakka Express, Avadh-Assam Express, Gonda Passenger, Amrapali Express and Lucknow-Gorakhpur Express, were halted after many trees uprooted due to the storm landed on rail tracks.

In Lucknow alone, more than 100 big and small trees were uprooted and 60 electric poles came down in the storm. As a result power went off in over 15 lakh households.

Hardoi has recorded 15 mm of rainfall since late Thursday, Muzaffarnagar had 14 mm and Jhansi had 4.2 mm rainfall.

Rescue and relief operations were started late Thursday, officials told IANS.

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