A sudden thunderstorm in Poland and Slovakia's Tatra mountains killed at least five people, including two children, and left more than 20 others injured Thursday, August 22nd, rescuers said, as reported by AFP.
Most of the victims were on the Polish side when lightning struck a metal cross atop Mount Giewont as well as a metal chain near the summit, according to local media. One person died in Slovakia.
"There were a few deaths in different parts of the Tatra mountains," Polish mountain rescue service chief Jan Krzysztof said earlier.
Three of the injured individuals, all of whom were taken by helicopter to area hospitals, were in intensive care, he added.
According to the Polish news agency PAP, lightning struck a metal chain attached to the last stretch of Mount Giewont to help hikers reach the top.
Poland's TVN24 commercial news channel reported that lightning also struck the large cross on the summit near the mountain resort town of Zakopane at a time when many hikers were present.
They had set out to climb Poland's highest mountains when the skies were clear earlier in the day.