Lightning strike in Czech Republic injures 18 people

Monday, June 3, 2024 - Eighteen people were injured in the Czech Republic after a tree they were sheltering under was struck by lightning.

Local emergency services said the lightning struck on Sunday afternoon, June 2, in the Liberec-Vratislavice castle park, located in the northern Liberec region about 55 miles (90km) north-east of the capital Prague.

Photos and videos shared by the fire service show dozens of emergency personnel and vehicles at the scene.

Local media reported that children were among those taken to hospital and that the park was hosting an event to mark International Children's Day.

Czech TV station CT 24 reported that five of the injured were children aged between two and 16, and that five adults were resuscitated at the scene.

A spokesperson for the Liberec regional hospital, Vaclav Ricar, told local newspaper Liberecky Denik that it had received 17 patients who were all conscious. He also confirmed that one child was airlifted to a hospital in Prague.

If you are caught outside in a thunderstorm, experts advise you to find a low spot away from trees, fences, and poles. If your skin tingles and hair stands on end, it means lightning is about to strike. The advice is to crouch down immediately, balancing on the balls of your feet, place your hands on your knees with your head between them to ensure you make yourself into the smallest target possible, and to minimise contact with the ground.

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