Lightning strike hits 8 kids in Paris park

PARIS • Eleven people, most of them children, were injured yesterday when lightning struck a birthday party in a Paris park, officials said, adding that six of the victims were seriously injured.

Police said eight children and three adults were hurt when the storm hit as they were holding the celebrations in Parc Monceau in north-west Paris.

"They had taken shelter under a tree," said Paris official Karen Taieb.

Three of the children and one adult had life-threatening injuries, the Paris force said, with another child and another adult also seriously injured.

The children were aged between seven and 14.

Local official Vincent Baladi, speaking to iTele television, had earlier given a slightly different toll of 10 children and one adult injured.

"We hope they will all pull through," said Mr Baladi, who handles security matters in Paris' eighth arrondissement where the park is located.

"They have burns," he said, adding that paramedics and firefighters were at the scene. "The lightning struck suddenly."

The injured were taken to Necker hospital, a specialist children's hospital.

The park, in a well-heeled neighbourhood of the city's north-west, is popular with families at the weekend.

The deputy mayor of the eighth arrondissement, Mr Gregoire Gauger, who was in the park at the time, told Mail Online: "It was raining hard. Everyone wanted to take shelter and suddenly, the lightning struck."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 29, 2016, with the headline 'Lightning strike hits 8 kids in Paris park'. Print Edition | Subscribe