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Lightning Strike Kills 17 in Wedding Party in Bangladesh

Lightning Strike Kills 17 in Wedding Party in Bangladesh
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Lightning Strike Kills 17 in Wedding Party in Bangladesh

Lightning Strike Kills 17 in Wedding Party in Bangladesh

DHAKA, Bangladesh – At least 17 people were killed and more than a dozen injured when lightning struck a wedding party on a boat in northwest Bangladesh, officials said.

Local authorities said the groom was among the injured and the bride was not on the boat when he was struck Wednesday in Shibganj, a town in Chapainawabganj district.

Lightning struck the boat as it reached a bank of the Padma River. The groom and the others on board were on their way to the bride’s house, police official Farid Hossain said.

“We have information on 17 people who have died and several more have been admitted to hospital,” Hossain said.

Fourteen injured people were taken to hospital, said Meherul Islam, a firefighter official.

Most lightning deaths in Bangladesh occur between March and July. Hundreds of people, most of them farmers in their fields, are killed by lightning strikes every year in this low-lying, densely populated country.

In 2016, the government declared lightning a natural disaster. They killed more than 200 people in May of that year alone, including 82 in a single day.

Experts say the increase in fatal lightning strikes is linked to deforestation, which has resulted in the disappearance of many large trees that are believed to have attracted lightning. Worsening air pollution and global warming are also contributing to an increase in the frequency of lightning in the country.

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