A lightning strike has killed 11 people taking selfies in a watchtower, according to reports.
The tragic incident apparently took place while a group of tourists was visiting the famous 12th century Amer Fort in Jaipur, India, a state disaster department official informed AFP.
A local police officer told Reuters: “As it started raining visitors took cover at a watchtower near the fort. Lightning struck the watchtower killing 11 people on the spot and injuring others.”
Lightning also struck two other areas in the state and in two of the incidents, seven children were killed.
In Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, another 76 lost their lives.
After hearing of the heartbreaking incidents, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared his condolences for the families of the victims in a tweet.
“Many people have lost their lives due to lightning in some areas of Rajasthan,” he said. “Deeply saddened by the demise of people. I express my deepest condolences to the families of those killed.”
Rajasthan’s Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot also announced that 500,000 rupees (£4,800) would be given as compensation for the families of those who have died.
During India’s monsoon season, fatal lightning strikes are common, as the country also sees heavy rainfall from June to September.
According to official figures, lightning strikes kill 2,000 people on average in India every year.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that deaths by lightning strikes have doubled in the country since the 1960s, with climate change being one of the main contributors.
The department advises anyone who finds themselves in extreme, stormy weather to take cover in a car or large building, get out of wide, open spaces and away from exposed hilltops.
They should make themselves a small target by crouching down with their feet together, hands on knees and head tucked in.
Words by Emily Brewster
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