Five dead and 100 hurt by lightning strikes in Tatra Mountains

Five dead and 100 hurt by lightning strikes in Tatra Mountains”

Rescue helicopter have brought to hospital the first people injured by a lighting that struck in Poland's southern Tatra Mountains during a sudden thunderstorm, in Zakopane, Poland, on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019.

Five people have been killed and 100 injured, some seriously, in thunderstorms in Poland's Tatra Mountains and the West Tatras in Slovakia.

Poland's voluntary mountain rescue organization, TOPR, said rescuers had been sent to the Giewont summit, which overlooks the town of Zakopane, where a group of people, among them children, had been struck by lightning.

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

Krzysztof said the massive mountain rescue action involved five helicopters and "went beyond the situations" that his team had ever faced. He added that three of the injured individuals - all of whom were taken by helicopter to area hospitals - were in intensive care.

The Tatras, part of the Carpathian mountain range, are the highest mountains in Poland and in Slovakia and attract tourists from near and far with scenic lakes and peaks that soar to 2,655 meters (8,710 feet).

Rescuers believe many hikers were nearby when lightning struck the cross on Giewont's summit. "Suddenly it started pouring and you could hear thunder roaring from every possible direction", Pyzel said.

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