After 18 people were killed while taking storm selfies, India will compensate when a popular tourist attraction is hit by lightning. On Sunday, a lightning strike killed 18 people when a bolt blasted a watchtower where tourists were snapping storm selfies in Jaipur, India.
TheNew York Post reports that there were a total of 27 individuals at the top of the 12th-century Amer Fort, the popular tourist attraction where the strike occurred, according to BBC News. Some of the victims leaped to the ground as the lightning came down, and law enforcement officials reported that most were young people.
Video captured by Reuter’s TV partner ANI showed empty shoes left by the dead.
“Many people died in front of our eyes. If people had gotten help and authorities had reached on time, then [they would have been alive],” an eyewitness told ANI. “We brought many people down. We rescued the people who were still alive, those who were still breathing, and pulled some people out of the gorge.”
Dozens more were killed as a result of a storm system that tore through northern India. Nine more deaths occurred in Rajasthan state, where Jaipur is located. At least another 41 people died in Uttar Pradesh, plus seven others in Madhya Pradesh.
Lightning strikes are not uncommon in India, where they’re known to kill at least 2000 citizens annually, especially in rural and agricultural regions where people predominantly work and spend their time outdoors.
Strikes are most common between June and September, during India’s monsoon season, and are thought to be increasing in frequency, according to the Indian Meteorological Department. Data shows that lightning strikes have increased 30 percent to 40 percent in approximately 30 years — a trend that some believe has been nurtured by climate change.
With support from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chief ministers in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have plans to provide compensation for families who have lost loved ones.
It’s far from the first incident of photographers risking — and losing — life and limb for the sake of a selfie. The most recent data showed that at least 259 people worldwide died in selfie-related accidents between 2011 and 2017, including risky cliffside photo ops and too-close attempts at consorting with wild animals.
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and is republished here with permission.