Lightning Strike Kills 17 in Wedding Party in Bangladesh

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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 northwestern Bangladesh, officials said.

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

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

“We have information of 17 people who died and several others were admitted to hospital,” Mr. Hossain said.

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

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

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

Experts say the rise in fatal lightning strikes is related to deforestation, which has led to the disappearance of many tall trees that would have drawn the lightning. Worsening air pollution and global warming are also contributing to an increase in the frequency of lightning strikes in the country.

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