India: Lightning kills more than 50 people in Bihar

At least 56 people die in Bihar and more killed in nearby Uttar Pradesh, with most victims working in farming industry.

    File: More than 2,500 people were killed by lightning in India in 2014 [Piyal Adhikari/EPA]
    File: More than 2,500 people were killed by lightning in India in 2014 [Piyal Adhikari/EPA]

    Lightning has killed at least 70 people, mostly farm labourers working in fields, in eastern India this week as a much anticipated summer monsoon advances across the country.

    An official in the eastern state of Bihar said on Wednesday that at least 56 people had been killed by lightining since Monday. Another 24 were injured by severe thunderstorms and monsoon rains in at least 14 districts of the state.

    Authorities in the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh said at least 20 people had been killed over the past two days.

    The Bihar disaster management official Vyasji, who uses only one name, said that scores of cattle also died after being struck by lightning.

    READ MORE: Monsoon advances across India

    The dead included at least eight shepherds out grazing their sheep, said Vyasji.

    Lightning strikes are common during India's monsoon season, which runs from June to September. However, the past day's toll in Bihar was unusually high.

    Lightning kills thousands of Indians each year, most of them farmers working the fields.

    More than 2,500 people were killed by lightning in India in 2014, according to the National Crime Records Bureau, the most recent figures available.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.