Kolkata, India: Authorities in India announced Monday that lightning strikes killed more than 50 people in multiple states, including 11 people at a historic fort.
Hundreds of people are killed every year in severe storms that hit the northern Indian plains at the start of the monsoon season, which brings relief from the summer heat.
Not only humans, but the violent thunderbolts also kill scores of animals across the subcontinent every year, many of which go unaccounted for.
Earlier this year, over 27 dies from a lightning strikes in India’s West Bengal where the monsoon stuck early.
According to media estimates, roughly ten more people were murdered in the desert state of Rajasthan on Sunday, and police stated at least 42 people were killed in various districts of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populated state.
Bolts struck two watchtowers of the 12th-century Amer Fort in Jaipur, which was filled with guests watching the storm pass through the city.
“When the people arrived, it was already raining. As the rain became heavier, they huddled in the towers,” Saurabh Tiwari, a senior Jaipur police officer, told AFP.
After several weeks of extreme heat in the state, people rushed to the fort, which offers a panoramic view of Jaipur.
According to authorities, eleven individuals were killed and another 17 were injured, with three of them in severe condition.
Tiwari said up to 30 people were on the towers when the lightning struck
“Some of the injured were left unconscious by the strikes. Others ran out in panic and extreme pain,” Tiwari added.
On Monday, emergency crews were checking to see if someone had fallen into a deep ditch on one side of the watchtowers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences on Monday and indicated that special payments would be paid to the families of those who died.