18 wild elephants killed by lightning strikes in Assam's Nagaon district, says senior forest department official

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Guwahati: Eighteen elephants died in lightning strikes at a forest in Nagaon district of Assam, a senior forest department official said on Thursday.

The incident happened on Wednesday night at a hill in the Kundoli proposed reserve forest in the Kathiatoli range, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) Amit Sahay told PTI.

"The area is very remote and our team could reachthere on Thursday afternoon. It was found that carcasses werelying in two groups. Fourteen were lying atop the hill and four were found at the bottom of the hill," he said.

The preliminary investigation found that the jumbos were killed due to electrocution caused by lightning last night, but the exact reason will be known only after post-mortem, which will be done on Friday, Sahay said.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, taking stock of the deaths, directed forest minister Parimal Suklaba to head to the site of the incident.

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With inputs from PTI

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