Lightning Strike Kills Five People, Injures Dozens More

Lightning has struck several locations across the Tatra Mountains in southern Poland and neighbouring Slovakia, killing five people, including two children, and injuring dozens more.

Witnesses say the thunderstorm came suddenly on a day that began with clear weather.

Four people were killed on the Polish side and one in Slovakia.

Some of the injured were brought by helicopter to the hospital in the Polish mountain resort town of Zakopane while others were taken elsewhere, Polish air ambulance service spokeswoman Kinga Czerwinska told the news broadcaster TVN24.

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The lightning hit the Giewont peak, a trekking destination popular among Polish and foreign tourists, and in other locations across the Tatras on Thursday.

The Tatras are part of the Carpathian mountain range and attract tourists from near and far with their soaring peaks and scenic lakes.

Polish rescue workers move an injured tourist into a helicopter. Photo: Getty Images.

Krakow province governor Piotr Cwik told reporters two children were among the dead.

The number of those hurt could still rise, as people were still being brought from various places in the mountains, Cwik said.

The Slovak rescue service said a Czech tourist fell down hundreds of metres and was killed after lightning knocked him off the Banikov peak.

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Rescuers with the Polish Tatra emergency service (TOPR) were dispatched to the Giewont peak in the early afternoon after being notified that a group of people had been struck by lightning there.

TOPR said it believes the lightning probably hit metal chains installed on the peak to aid tourists in their climb.