October 6, 2014 / 5:35 PM / 5 years ago

Lightning strike in Colombia indigenous village kills 11

BOGOTA (Reuters) - A lightning strike in a small indigenous village in mountainous northern Colombia killed at least 11 people who were participating in a community ritual, the army said on Monday.

The incident, which occurred near the town of Guachaca in Colombia’s Sierra Nevada mountains, left another 13 people seriously injured. The region is home to several indigenous communities.

“A group of indigenous people were participating in a traditional community meeting and a bolt of lightning struck, leaving 11 dead and 13 injured,” Colonel Jorge Santo Domingo, head of a nearby army unit, told Reuters.

The injured, who suffered burns, were evacuated by military helicopter to the city of Santa Marta, Santo Domingo said.

President Juan Manuel Santos expressed his “solidarity” with the community on Twitter. The government’s emergency management unit said it would send a team to the site.

Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Peter Galloway

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