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12 April 2018, 15:02

15 dead, Taj Mahal complex damaged in India's Uttar Pradesh because of high speed wind

NEW DELHI, 12 April (BelTA - Xinhua) - At least 15 people were killed due to gusty wind followed by hailstorm and rainfall in northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, officials said Thursday.

The winds blowing with the velocity of over 130 km per hour swept Braj region in western part of the state on Wednesday night.

According to officials, the deaths took place due hailstorm in Braj region, west of Lucknow city, the capital of Uttar Pradesh.

"Eight deaths were reported in Agra, four in Mathura and two in Firozabad of Braj region," an official said.

Meanwhile, the wind also damaged and brought down pillars of the royal and southern gates of the Taj Mahal, a Mughal-era monument, described often as one of the "Seven Wonders of the World."

"The 12-feet metal pillar at the entry gate crashed just past midnight. Another pillar also fell from other sides. Besides this, a flower vase and a portion of wall suffered damages," an official of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) said. "Damage assessment will be carried out and restoration measures would be taken accordingly."

The Taj Mahal is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Media reports said at least 12 people died in the western Indian state of Rajasthan due to heavy rain and strong wind.

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