(CNN) – Eleven people were killed in a lightning strike near a popular tourist spot in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan on Sunday night.
Shankar Lal Saini, a senior disaster management officer in Jaipur, said lightning struck Amar Fort on the outskirts of the city.
“There was a tower. When the lightning struck, the wall of the tower collapsed and a lot of people were buried under it. The fort was on a hill and some people fell into a ditch as the debris fell and the space was reduced,” Saini told CNN.
Saini said the incident took place around 6.30pm on Sunday and police and Civil Defense Force officers carried out rescue operations until 7am on Monday.
The 11 bodies recovered include women and children. The victims were pronounced dead after arriving at Sawai Man Singh Hospital in the city.
Eleven people were reported rescued
A further 11 people have been rescued and are in stable condition, Saini said. Those in the fort include locals and tourists alike.
“Because it is a mountainous area and there are many trees, rescue teams kept looking until morning if anyone was left behind, but people have all already been found,” Saini said.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Kehlot said many people were killed by lightning in other parts of Rajasthan. Kehlot asked authorities in a tweet Sunday to provide immediate assistance to the families of the dead.
Prime Minister Modi’s message
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences on Twitter.
“Many people have lost their lives due to lightning in some parts of Rajasthan. It is very painful. I extend my deepest condolences to the families of the victims: Prime Minister arenarendramodi”, The Prime Minister’s Office tweeted Monday morning.
The Deaths from lightning strikes are common in India In the South Asian region in May and June each year.
According to the National Crime Bureau of India, 2,885 people died due to lightning in 2017 and 2,357 in 2018.
In June 2020, at least 107 people were killed by lightning strikes in just two days in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
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