NEW DELHI: More than 50 people were killed in lightning strikes across several states in India, authorities said Monday, including 11 people at a historic fort.
Hundreds of people are killed each year in intense storms at the start of the monsoon season, which bring respite from the summer heat across the northern Indian plains.
Media reports said about 10 other people were killed on Sunday in the desert state of Rajasthan and authorities added at least 42 died in different districts of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state.
in Jaipur, 11 tourists lost their lives and another eight sustained injuries during a lightning strike near the Amer Fort.
The incident happened on Sunday when the tourists were out enjoying a pleasant evening — some were busy taking selfies, while others chatting when they were struck down. Around 27 people were reported to have been on the watch tower and the fort wall when the incident happened.
Jaipur police Commissioner Anand Shrivastav confirmed the incident. “A total of 11 people have died as lightning struck them while 8 people have been injured,” Shrivastav said.
A few of them slipped from the hills and fel, deep down among bushes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced an ex-gratia of Rs200,000 each from Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund to the next of kin of those who lost their lives due to lightning strikes in parts of Rajasthan.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot also announced a compensation of Rs500,000 each for the families of those killed.
Police sources said that many tourists sustained injuries as they jumped off the watch tower in panic.