LA PAZ – One Bolivian soldier was killed and four others injured by lightning during a storm in the southern city of Tarija, the air force said Wednesday.
The air force command said in a statement that conscript Benjamin Salazar Flores died at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday at the installations of the Artillery and Air Defense Group in Tarija.
The lightning struck a eucalyptus tree under which Salazar and his comrades had sought shelter from the storm.
The four surviving soldiers are in stable condition, according to the report.
With the death of Salazar the number of weather-related fatalities in Bolivia since November reached a dozen, including four in the last two weeks, as the El Niño climate phenomenon has been making itself felt.
The rainy season in Bolivia extends from October to March, with the most intense precipitation usually coming in January and February.