Five dead and 100 hurt by lightning strikes in Tatra Mountains

Five dead and 100 hurt by lightning strikes in Tatra Mountains

Latest: Lightning strikes across the Tatra Mountains in southern Poland and neighbouring Slovakia have killed five people and injuring more than 100 others in an area popular with hikers and families, authorities said.

Witnesses said the thunderstorm came suddenly on a day that began with clear weather.

Four people were killed on the Polish side, including two children, a spokeswoman for the Polish air ambulance service, Kinga Czerwinska, told the news broadcaster TVN24.

Slovak authorities said one person died in their nation.

The lightning strikes hit the Giewont peak as well as other locations across the Tatras.

Some of the injured were brought by helicopter to a hospital in the Polish mountain resort of Zakopane.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who went to Zakopane said some among the over 100 injured were in very serious condition with severe burns or head injuries.

Earlier (4.07pm): Three dead, including child, as lightning strikes in Poland’s Tatra Mountains

Three people, including a child, have been killed by lightning during a sudden thunderstorm in Poland’s southern Tatra Mountains, a Polish official said.

The spokeswoman for Krakow’s provincial governor, Joanna Pazdzio, told The Associated Press she was told about the deaths by the leaders of the rescue operation that was taking place this afternoon in the Tatras.

The Tatra rescue service, TOPR, said rescuers were dispatched to Giewont peak where a group of people, including children, had been struck by lightning.

TOPR chief Jan Krzysztof said a number of people on the peak and at other locations were dead and about a dozen people were injured.

Kinga Czerwinska of the Airborne Ambulance Service said four helicopters were sent in to help.

She said lightning had struck Giewont peak, a popular trekking destination, and other locations in the Tatras.

- Press Association

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