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18 elephants believed to be killed after lightning strikes herd in Assam

At least 18 elephants are believed to have been killed in India’s Assam state after a bolt of lightning hit the herd.

The incident happened in the hilly Kandali Proposed Reserve Forest in the Forest Department’s Kathiatoli Range in Nagaon district.

“The local staff said 18 elephants have died and lightning is most likely the cause,” Assam’s Chief Wildlife Warden, M.K. Yadava said while speaking to local media.

“There have been cases of lightning striking animals down. Lightning claimed five elephants in West Bengal some time ago, but this is huge,” he said.

Officials said a team of veterinary doctors and other wildlife experts have left for Kandali and are expected to reach the spot. The team is expected to examine if there are other reasons behind the death of the elephants.

Lightning has become a cause of fatalities previously and in one such instance, CCTV surveillance camera captured the horrific moment four gardeners were struck by lightning after they took shelter under a tree during a storm in India.

Footage showed a bright flash as the bolt struck from the sky and knocked three of the men down instantly. The fourth fell to the ground moments later.

All four men were hurried to a nearby hospital in Manesar. One of them, identified as 38-year-old gardener Ramprasad, died later the same day while the other three are throught to be in stable condition.

The three survivors were identified as gardeners Shivdutt and Lali and their supervisor Anil.

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