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Colombian tribe members killed by lightning in Sierra Nevada mountains

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Eleven people from Colombian tribe Wiwa have been killed by lightning during a religious ceremony in Sierra Nevada mountains.

Leaders from the Wiwa ethnic group were carrying out what was described as a spiritual harmonization ritual when they were struck.

Another 15 people were injured.

Survivors were rescued by the army and airlifted to hospitals in the Caribbean city of Santa Marta.

Eleven people from Colombian tribe Wiwa have been killed by lightning during a religious ceremony in Sierra Nevada mountains

Eleven people from Colombian tribe Wiwa have been killed by lightning during a religious ceremony in Sierra Nevada mountains

Most of the victims are being treated for second and third degree burns.

The accident happened on Sunday night near the town of Guachaca mountains.

Some 60 tribe members were gathering inside a thatched building used as a temple when it was hit by a lightning bolt, local media reported.

The building was burned to the ground.

President Juan Manuel Santos wrote on his Twitter account: “Our solidarity is with the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta indigenous community.”

The Colombian indigenous agency (ONIC) said it has been speaking to families to find ways of helping the community at this difficult time.

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