New Delhi: Authorities said on Monday that more than 50 people were killed in lightning strikes in various states in India, and 11 of them were killed in a historic fort.
Hundreds of people are killed every year in the severe storm at the beginning of the monsoon season, which provides a respite from the summer heat in the northern plains of India.
According to media reports, about 10 people were killed in the desert state of Rajasthan on Sunday. The authorities added that at least 42 people were killed in different areas of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state.
In Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, the bolt hit two watchtowers in the 12th-century Amer Fort, crowded with tourists watching the storm sweep across the city.
“People were already raining when they were there. As the rain intensified, they huddled in the tower,” Jaipur senior police officer Sorab Tiwari told AFP.
After weeks of intense heat in the state, people flocked to this fortress overlooking Jaipur.
According to the police, 11 people were killed and 17 others were injured, of which 3 were in critical 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.
Emergency teams were checking on Monday whether any victims had fallen into a deep moat on one side of the watchtowers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said special payments would be made to the families of people who lost their lives, as he offered condolences.