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At least three dead in thunderstorm in Tatras mountains, Poland

At least three people were killed and 22 injured during a thunderstorm in Poland's Tatra Mountains on Thursday (August 22) and another was killed in the West Tatras in Slovakia, mountain rescue services reported.

Lightning hit a group of tourists on Giewont, a 1,894-metre mountain, after a sunny morning turned stormy, according to witnesses quoted on private broadcaster TVN24.

Tourists climbing Giewont in Poland often aim to end their trip at the top, where a 15-metre iron cross was installed in 1901. The cross is said to attract lightning.

Other victims were hurt in different parts of the mountains, which spread over 57 kilometres in southern Poland. Four helicopters and a number of rescuers were still working helping victims, TVP Info said.

More than two dozen rescuers were already trying to save two cavers trapped in Poland’s Tatras, after a tunnel flooded and blocked their exit.

In the West Tatras on the Polish-Slovak border, a man was killed when lightning knocked him into a gorge, the Slovak Mountain Rescue Service said.

His companion, a Czech woman, was injured. A Slovak man was hurt in a separate incident.

(Production: Malgorzata Wojtunik, Aiden Nulty)

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