11 People Killed By Lightning Strike While Taking Selfies at Tourist Site.
At least 11 individuals were killed when lightning struck them while snapping pictures at a renowned tourist site in Jaipur, India.
Authorities confirmed the victims, who were largely young individuals, shortly after the tragedy on Sunday evening.
“So far, 11 people have died while another 11-12 persons are injured,” Jaipur Police Commissioner Anand Srivastava told The Indian Express.
Around 7.30 p.m. Sunday, lightning struck a watchtower opposite the Amer Fort, a major tourist attraction built in the 12th century.
“Nine bodies were found on the spot after the accident,” Amer police station SHO Shivnarayan told the news outlet. “The watch tower was situated on the opposite side of the Amer Fort and most of those dead are youngsters.”
Tourists and locals were among those in the tower at the time, according to Assistant Commissioner of Police Amer Saurabh Tiwari.
Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot, described the loss of lives as “very sad and unfortunate” in a tweet on Monday. “My deepest condolences to the families of the affected, may God give them strength,” he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced 200,000 rupees, or ($2,682) as compensation for the families of those who have died, and 50,000 rupees ($670) to the injured, as reported by his office on Monday.
The Prime Minister was informed of the deaths and property damage caused by lightning in portions of Uttar Pradesh. The deceased’s next of kin would receive Rs. 2 lakh in ex-gratia from PMNRF, while the injured will receive Rs. 50,000.
The Prime Minister was briefed about the loss of lives and damages due to lightning in parts of Uttar Pradesh. An ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 would be given to the injured.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 12, 2021
On Sunday, nine more people were killed by lightning in different parts of the state. There was one death in Baran, another in Jhalawar, four deaths in Kota, and three deaths in Dholpur.
Seven of those killed were children, according to local media reports.
India is currently in the midst of the monsoon season, which sees heavy rains from June to September.
According to the Hindustan Times, lightning strikes kill approximately 2,000 people each year.
According to data from the India Meteorological Department, the number of people killed by lightning strikes has increased since the late 1960s.
“Between 1995 and 2014, we saw a jump of nearly 30-40 percent in lightning incidents in India. The number of deaths has also increased significantly between the 1990s and now,” SD Pawar, project director thunderstorm dynamics, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, told the publication.