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Multiple fatalities as lightning strike hits cross at Polish pilgrimage site

The lightning reportedly struck the large cross on the Giewont summit at a time when many hikers were present.

The cross on Mount Giewont.
The cross on Mount Giewont.

RESCUERS SAID THAT “a few” people have died and at least 12 more are injured after lightning struck a metal cross at a pilgrimage site in the Tatra mountains in southern Poland.

“A dozen people were struck by lightning around Mount Giewont,” mountain rescue service chief Jan Krzysztof told reporters.

“There were a few deaths in different parts of the Tatra mountains” he said, without giving an exact toll.

Poland’s TVN24 commercial news channel reported that lightning struck the large cross on the Giewont 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. Despite the poor weather conditions, rescuers have set out by helicopter to look for the victims.

© AFP 2019

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