Lightning kills wedding-goers in Bangladesh

Published : August 05, 2021 20:40 IST

Officials say the party had just arrived at the bride's home near the Padma River (shown here) when lightning struck. -Pacific Press

At least 16 people from a Bangladeshi wedding party have been killed by lightning while disembarking from a boat. Fatal lightning strikes are becoming ever more frequent in the country.

At least 16 people were killed when lightning struck a wedding party in northwestern Bangladesh on August 4. Local police say the accident occurred when the party, including the groom, disembarked from a boat that had just docked in front of the bride's home in Shibgani, on the Padma River, roughly 245 kilometers (150 miles) northwest of the capital, Dhaka.

Officials say several people were also injured in the incident, with 14 requiring hospitalization. The groom was among the injured. Fatal lightning strikes are common in Bangladesh, especially during the monsoon season. Each year, they kill more than 200 people in the country, often farmers in their fields.

Experts say air pollution and global warming are now increasing the frequency of the strikes, while deforestation has made them deadlier as there are no longer many tall trees to act as natural lightning rods.

js/tj (AP, Reuters)