Lightning kills 38, including selfie-takers in India
Lightning has killed at least 38 lives across two Indian states, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, over the past 24 hours, officials said on Monday.
The deaths occurred on Sunday evening. Fourteen people died in Prayagraj, five in Kanpur Dehat, three each in Firozabad and Kaushambhi and two each in Unnao and Chitrakoot after lightning struck them, according to local media.
According to the police department, a majority of the deaths occurred in the western state of Rajasthan, where 11 people died after being struck by lightning near a watchtower at the 12th century Amber Fort.
Senior police officer Anand Srivastava said some of the victims were taking selfies near the watchtower when lightning struck late on Sunday.
Srivastava said at least nine more people were killed and nearly 20 others were injured in separate lightning strikes when the state was lashed by thunderstorms and monsoon rains.
In Kaushambhi, the deceased have been identified as Rukma,12, Moorat Dhwaj, 50, Ramchandra, 32, and Mayank Singh,15.
In Firozabad, Hemraj, 50, and Ram Sevak, 40, were standing under a Neem tree, when they were hit by lightning, killing them on the spot. Amar Singh, 60, of Shikohabad area, was also killed by lightning,
Similar incidents have been reported from Ghazipur and Ballia.
In Uttar Pradesh, 18 people were killed by lightning on Sunday, said Manoj Dixit, a government official. Most of those killed were farm labourers working in fields.
Both state governments announced financial compensation for the families of the victims and those who were injured.
The Indian Meteorological Department has warned of more lightning in the next two days.
Lightning strikes are common during India’s monsoon season, which runs from June to September.
More than 2,900 people were killed by lightning in India in 2019, according to the the most recent official figures available.