AFP
Wire Service
2 minute read
23 Nov 2021
8:24 pm

Lightning strikes 13 Zimbabwe prisoners having lunch

AFP

Lightning accompanying summer thunderstorms is a common occurence and responsible for several deaths each year in Zimbabwe.

Picture: iStock

A lighting bolt struck and wounded 13 male prisoners while they were having lunch at a jail in northwestern Zimbabwe, an official said Tuesday.

Deputy spokesman for the prison services Peter Chaparanganda told AFP that the incident occurred on Friday at the jail in the Zimbabwe town of Hwange.

“The inmates were inside the prison yard,” when the lightning struck at around 11:30 am (0930 GMT), he said.

The group was taken to hospital where “four of them were reported to be serious while the other nine were reported to be stable,” Chaparanganda added.

Lightning accompanying summer thunderstorms is a common occurrence and responsible for several deaths each year in Zimbabwe.

Earlier this year, more than 50 people were killed in lightning strikes across several states in India, including 11 people at a historic fort.

Hundreds of people are killed each year in intense storms at the start of the monsoon season, which bring respite from the summer heat across the northern Indian plains.

Media reports said about 10 other people were killed Sunday in the desert state of Rajasthan and authorities added at least 42 died in different districts of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state.

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In Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, bolts hit two watchtowers at the 12th-century Amer Fort, which were packed with visitors watching the storm cross the city.

“It was already raining when the people were there. They huddled in the towers as the rainfall intensified,” Saurabh Tiwari, a senior Jaipur police officer, told AFP.

People had flocked to the fort, which gives a panoramic view across Jaipur, after several weeks of intense heat in the state.

Eleven people were killed and another 17 were injured, with three in critical condition, according to police.

Tiwari said up to 30 people were on the towers when the lightning struck.

“Some of the injured were left unconscious by the strikes. Others ran out in panic and extreme pain,” Tiwari added.