At least 107 people were killed by lightning in India on Thursday and dozens more were injured. Of those killed, 83 people were killed in the eastern state of Bihar after being struck by lightning, and another 24 in northern Uttar Pradesh state. The death toll could rise further as the government was still waiting on casualty reports from the interior parts of the state.
Though this represented the highest death toll from lightning in recent years, this is not an entirely unusual way to die in India. More than 2,300 people were killed by lightning in India in 2018. One estimate is that the annual global death toll is 6,000. About 240,000 incidents regarding lightning strikes happen each year with a mortality rate of between 10% and 30%, with up to 80% of survivors sustaining long-term injuries.
Over the last 20 years, the United States averaged 51 annual lightning strike fatalities, placing it in the second position, just behind floods for deadly weather. Airplanes are commonly struck by lightning without damage, with the typical commercial aircraft hit at least once a year.