Bangladesh: At least 17 killed and groom injured as lightning hits group on way to wedding party

Lightning has killed at least 17 people who were travelling to a wedding party in western Bangladesh and injured more than a dozen others, including the groom.

The lightning hit as the partygoers, who were travelling by boat, reached the bank of the Padma river in Shibganj town, Chapainawabganj district, on their way to the bride’s house.

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

Fourteen people were injured and taken to hospital, fire service official Meherul Islam added. The bridegroom was among those hurt.

The area is about 245km (150 miles) northwest of Dhaka.

Lightning kills hundreds of people every year in Bangladesh, which declared lightning strikes a natural disaster in 2016 when more than 200 people died in the month of May alone, including 82 people on a single day.

Most lightning deaths usually occur during the warm months of March to July.

Experts say the rise in fatal lightning strikes is related to deforestation, which has led to the disappearance of many tall trees that earlier would have drawn strikes

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