As many as four persons have been brutally killed after lightning struck an iron cross near them.
Rescue workers help a group of hikers who were hit by lightning which was conducted by this iron cross on the Tatra mountain range in Poland (Picture: Rex Features/Getty)
A devastating lightning strike killed four hikers on a Polish mountain when it hit a large iron cross near the group.
Dozens of trekkers were electrocuted when the structure on the summit conducted the lightning. The massive thunderstorm caused devastation in the Tatra mountain range, near the southern border with Slovakia.
Two children were among the dead and around 100 people were injured with burns and fracture injuries.
The lightning hit tourists who were trekking on the summit of a 1,894-metre (6,214 feet) high mountain called Giewont. Reports claim the lightning struck a 15m high iron cross structure and travelled along railings.
Polish mountain rescue service chief Jan Krzysztof said: ‘We heard that after (the) lightning struck, people fell.
‘The current then continued along the chains securing the ascent, striking everyone along the way.’
The devastating lightning strike in the Tatra mountain range was compared to a ‘terrorist attack’ (Picture: Rex Features)
Rescuers were today checking the slopes of the popular Giewont peak for three people who are still missing.
The injured trekkers were treated for burns, fractures and heart problems and 34 remain in hospital. Jan Krzysztof, head of the TOPR Tatra emergency service, said: ‘This is a situation that can be compared to a terrorist attack.
‘A large group of random people has been hit. ‘Many people, including children. ‘Burnt, with broken legs, wounds all over their bodies.’
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said: ‘Nobody expected such a sudden storm to break out and from our human point of view it was something which was impossible to predict.’
Leszek Dorula, the mayor of Zakopane, which is a town at the base of the mountains in Poland, declared Friday as a day of mourning.
In neighbouring Slovakia, a Czech tourist also fell to his death after lightning knocked him off Banikov mountain during the same storms.