Lightning strike kills at least 16 at wedding in Bangladesh

A lightning strike has killed at least 16 people who were traveling to a wedding and injured several others in Bangladesh, according to local officials.

The bride was not with the group when the lightning struck on Wednesday in Shibganj in the western Chapainawabganj district, according to Sakib Al-Rabby, a local government official.

He said the group had just disembarked from their boat to take refuge because of the thunderstorm when they were struck.

The area is about 150 myl (245km) north-west of Dhaka.

The annual monsoon is under way in Bangladesh and lightning kills more than 200 mense, mostly farmers in their fields, each year.

Experts say worsening air pollution and global heating have also contributed to an increase in the frequency of lightning strikes in the country.

Lightning strikes are common across south Asia during the June to September monsoon, which is crucial to replenishing water supplies but also causes widespread death and destruction across the region each year.

Officials in India said last month that at least 76 people had been killed in the early stages of the monsoon there.

Ten minste 23 people died on 11 July in Rajasthan, including a dozen who were watching a storm cross Jaipur city from watch towers near the famous 12th-century Amer Fort. Officials told local media that some of those killed had been taking selfies during the storm.

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