Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
 / Updated 
By Tim Stelloh and The Associated Press

Dozens of people are believed to have been struck dead by lightning during powerful storms that churned across Bangladesh last week.

No government agency is charged with tracking lighting-related fatalities, but the Associated Press, citing leading Bangladeshi newspapers, reported the number of casualties on Saturday to be at least 64.

The Times of India said that a number of those killed were children playing in open areas, but that the victims were largely farmers at work in fields.

In the Dhaka district, the paper reported, two engineering students were killed while playing soccer in the rain.

The storms were part of a seasonal nor’wester, the paper reported, adding that roughly 300 people are killed annually by lightning.

Experts attributed those deaths to increased deforestation and metal devices such as cell phones, according to the AP.

Rickshaw pullers carry passengers during a downpour at TSC in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 13 May 2016. City dwellers was relieved after the rain as they were having hot weather for the past weeks. Reports say dozens of people were killed after being struck by lightning during the countrywide storm the last two days.ABIR ABDULLAH / EPA