32 dead in India lightning strikes

32 dead in India lightning strikes

PATNA, India - At least 32 people including nine children were killed over the weekend by lightning strikes in the eastern Indian states of Bihar and Jharkhand, officials said Monday.

"About 24 people including seven children were killed Saturday and Sunday by bolts of lightning across Bihar," State Disaster Management Minister Renu Kumari Kushwaha said.

In neighbouring Jharkhand, eight people including two children died, Puran Mahto, an official in the state's Dhanbad district said. Torrential rains accompanied by strong winds uprooted trees, damaged houses and brought down power cables across the region on Sunday night.

Though lightning strikes during the June-October monsoon season are common, the weekend toll was unusually high. Villagers housed in bamboo-and-grass huts are generally most at risk.

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