Lightning struck Fort Amer on the outskirts of the city, according to Shankar Lal Saini, a senior disaster management official in Jaipur.
“There was a tower. When lightning struck, the wall of the tower collapsed, many people were buried under it. Since the fort is on a hill, when debris was falling and space was reduced, some people also fell into a ditch,” Saini i said CNN.
The incident happened at 6.30pm on Sunday and officers of the police and civil defense force conducted rescue operations until 7am on Monday, according to Saini.
The 11 bodies found were women and children. The victims were pronounced dead upon arrival at the city’s Sawai Man Singh Hospital.
Another 11 people were rescued and are in stable condition, Saini said. Those in the fort included locals as well as tourists, he added.
“Because it is a hilly area and there are a lot of trees that rescue teams kept looking until the morning in case anyone was left behind, but now all the people have been counted,” Saini said.
Several people were also killed by lightning strikes in other parts of Rajasthan, according to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. He urged officials to provide immediate assistance to the families of the dead in a tweet Sunday.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences on Twitter.
“Many people have lost their lives due to lightning in some areas of Rajasthan. It has hurt a lot. I express my deepest condolences to the families of the deceased: Prime Minister @narendramodi,” the prime minister’s office wrote Monday morning.
Deaths from lightning strikes are common in India and the South Asian region in May and June each year.
There were 2,885 deaths attributed to lightning in 2017 and 2,357 in 2018, according to the National Bureau of Crime Records in India.
In June 2020, at least 107 people were killed by lightning strikes in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in just two days.
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