Lightning strikes kill dozens in eastern India

Featured India - June 6th, 2013

Nearly 30 people are believed to have been killed in a lightning storm in India, officials said Wednesday.

Lightning struck as many as 27 people, including six children, in separate incidents as pre-monsoon showers battered the eastern state of Bihar. According to the minister in charge of Bihar’s disaster management, 22 deaths were reported Tuesday while another five people were killed on Wednesday.

Five persons, including two girls, died after being struck by lightning in Aurangabad district on Wednesday, while four others, including three boys, died of a similar cause in Rohtas district.

The Indian Express newspaper reported lightning accompanied by heavy showers killed three people in Guntur district. These include a couple who were reportedly struck while taking cattle to graze. The third person killed was a boy.

“It is sad that lightning claimed so many lives,” the minister, Renu Kumari Kushwaha, said.

The fatalities prompted the state disaster management ministry to announce that a compensation package will be paid to the victim’s families, reports India Today.

Lightning strikes during the June-September monsoon season are common in the impoverished state, where villagers living in bamboo and grass huts are extremely vulnerable.