Several lightning strikes struck a wedding party in Bangladesh within seconds on Wednesday, killing 16 people and injuring the groom, officials said.
The group had just left a boat in the riverside town of Shibganj to seek shelter from the thunderstorm when lightning struck, a city government administrator said.
The bride was not with the wedding party, Sakib Al-Rabby told AFP, confirming that 16 people died as several bolts struck seconds apart in the western neighborhood of Chapainawabganj.
Severe monsoon storms hit Bangladesh. A week of torrential rains in the south-eastern district of Cox’s Bazar killed around 20 people, including six Rohingya refugees.
Lightning kills hundreds of people in this South Asian country every year.
According to an official tally, there were more than 200 lightning deaths in 2016, with 82 people dying in a single day in May. However, many deaths are never officially recorded and an independent observer has counted at least 349 lightning deaths.
Some experts say deforestation has increased the death toll, with Bangladesh planting hundreds of thousands of palm trees in a bid to mitigate the impact of climate change and reduce the number of lightning deaths.
© 2021 AFP