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

    From the US to Afghanistan: Rediscovering the mother who left me

    From the US to Afghanistan: Rediscovering the mother who left me

    Tracee Herbaugh's mother, Sharon, abandoned her when she was born, pursuing a career from which she never returned.

    Could mega-dams kill the mighty River Nile?

    Could mega-dams kill the mighty River Nile?

    For Ethiopia, a new dam holds the promise of much-needed electricity; for Egypt, the fear of a devastating water crisis.

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    On a gorgeous Florida evening, a truck crashed into me. As I lay in intensive care, I learned who had been driving it.