3 students struck by lightning while studying online on top of a hill

Phulbani: Three teenage students were struck by lightning as they were huddled together on a hill near their village in Kandhamal district for an online group study, police said.

On Wednesday afternoon, the students had gathered at the top of the hill to study given the poor internet connectivity in the village of Mundagam, 185 km from the state capital, Bhubaneswar.

When the students failed to return home in the evening, their parents searched for them and found the three lying unconscious on the top of a hill, police said.

They were rushed to nearby Brahmanpada Public Health Center.

Subdivision Police Officer G Udayagiri Tirupati Rao Patnaik said the condition of one student was critical while two others were stable.

Patnaik added that all three were transferred to the district headquarters hospital in Phulbani.

The students have been identified as Dhiren Digal (17), Pinku Mallick (17) and Panchanan Behera (18).

Kandhamal District Chief Medical Officer Dr Monoj Upadhay said their condition was now stable.

Students usually go to the top of the hill where they can easily access mobile internet, said a villager.

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