Numerous lightning strikes have claimed the lives of at least 32 people in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, which was lashed by thunderstorms and rain Sunday evening. Among the fatalities, 23 were from seven districts in Andhra Pradesh and nine were from the eastern state of Orissa, according to BBC News.
Most of the victims of the lightning strikes were laborers who were working on the fields when the incident happened. The deaths occurred in the Nellore, Prakasam, Guntur, Krishna, East Godavari, Anantapur and Srikakulam districts of Andhra Pradesh. Six women were among the casualties.
Two women's cricket teams also had a narrow escape from a deadly accident, when lightning struck a tree on the ground where they were holding a game in Guntur, reports MSN News.
Sitapati, a district cricket official who only goes by one name, described the incident.
"It was a miraculous escape for the players and the people at the grounds," Sitapati said, adding that everyone, players and spectators alike, fled in panic immediately after the tree that was struck by lightning burst into flames.
Weather officials in the Andhra Pradesh state capital of Hyderabad state that the heavy rains and the lightning storms may have been caused by a low pressure system over the Bay of Bengal.
India's monsoon season, which usually runs from June to September, are commonly littered with numerous lightning storms. However, the number of lightning strikes and the fatalities it caused last Sunday are unusually high.
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