Hail can kill. It’s happened around the world throughout history. Sometimes the death toll reaches into the hundreds, but those incidents are rare.
Injuries and fatalities depend on the size of the hail stones, the wind speed and the frequency with which the stones fall, according to Slate
. Deaths often occur from strikes to the head or other vulnerable parts of the body.
These eight incidents are among the deadliest hailstorms in history:
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During the the Hundred Years War, according to the History.com
, a hailstorm devastated the English army during an invasion of France.
The death toll from the storm was estimated around 1,000 soldiers. That day, April 13, 1360, has since been known as "Black Monday."
An eyewitness account descibed the event as “a foul day, full of myst and hayle, so that men dyed on horseback [sic],” says History.com.
Some 200 people were killed by a sudden and severe hailstorm while traveling through a valley in Roopkund, India, about A.D. 850, writes Dylan Thuras in Atlas Obscura
. The skeletons of the victims were discovered in a lake by a British forest guard in 1942.
A National Geographic team examining the remains in 2004 reported the victims of “Skeleton Lake” suffered blows to the head from “blunt, round objects about the size of cricket balls.” They concluded the blows were from a hailstorm.
More than 200 people were believed to be killed during a hailstorm in China in 1932, Thuras reports.
In what may be the deadliest hailstorm recorded, hailstones took the lives of 246 people in Moradabad, India, in 1988, according to The Weather Channel
Hailstones weighing up to two pounds caused the deaths of 92 people in Gopalganj, Bangladesh in 1986.
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In 2013, the Daily Mail reported that
at least nine people were killed throughout several villages in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. The deadly storm destroyed houses, crops and livestock.
Deaths from hailstorms are rare in the United States, but a pizza deliveryman was killed by hail in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2000, according to The Weather Channel. It was the last confirmed hail fatality in the U.S.
Slate reported in 2006 that at least 27 people were killed when hailstorms and tornadoes swept through the Midwest and the South. However, those deaths included incidents caused by the strong winds, such as a tree falling on a person and an occupant killed when his mobile home turned over; it's difficult to attribute whose deaths were caused by hail, if any.
A hailstorm killed eight people along the Wateree River in South Carolina in 1784, according to the report in Atlas Obscura. The South Carolina Gazette reported the hailstones “measured about 9 inches in circumference,” and also killed geese, lambs, sheep, and birds.
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