Lightning strike kills 16 taking selfies in India
At least 16 people have been killed and many more injured in Jaipur, northern India by a lightning strike.
The victims were atop a popular tourist attraction – a watchtower at the city’s 12 Century Amer Fort – taking selfies when lightning stuck.
Dozens have also died in lightning strikes in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh states.
Official data suggest some 2,000 Indians are killed every year due to lightning strikes.
A police officer told the media most of the people who were killed at the watchtower were young.
A total of 27 people were on top of the tourist attraction and the wall of the fort when the incident happened, some reportedly jumped to the ground.
On Sunday, nine more deaths from lightning strikes were reported across Rajasthan state where Jaipur is located, according to local media reports.
At least 41 people – mostly women and children – were reportedly killed in several districts of Uttar Pradesh state. The highest toll of 14 was recorded in the city of Allahabad (also known as Prayagraj).
At least seven died in Madhya Pradesh. Experts say casualty numbers are high in the two states because a large number of people work outdoors in agriculture and construction.
Compensations for the families of those who died have been announced by officials.
India’s monsoon season usually sees heavy rains and lasts from June to September.
The climate crisis is one of the reasons cited as to why lightning strikes have doubled in India since the 1960s.
Officials say they are more common in areas with thinner tree cover, leaving people vulnerable to being struck.
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