Dozens of people, many of them children, have been injured in lightning strikes in Paris and a small town in western Germany. One man was killed by lightning in Poland and several were injured.
A freak lightning strike hit a football pitch in the town of Hoppstädten in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate on Saturday, injuring 35 people including 30 children, police said.
The lightning directly hit a referee who was resuscitated before being transported by helicopter to a hospital in serious condition. Two other adults were also gravely injured. The 30 children aged between nine and 11 had irregular heartbeats and were taken to the hospital as a precaution.
The bolt appeared to come out of nowhere, police said.
"There was no rain and no dark sky according to witnesses," a police spokesman said.
The German weather service had warned of continuing storms following a wet and windy Friday, which saw people and transport services impacted by landslides and flooding in some areas.
Park in Paris hit
Separately on Saturday, 11 people, including eight children aged about nine years old, were injured by lightning in Park Monceau in northwest Paris during a birthday party.
Six of the victims were in serious condition, police said. Three of the children and one adult have life-threatening injuries.
The lightening struck when the group had ducked under a tree to shelter from rain.
Man killed in Poland
Also on Saturday, a man in Poland was killed by lightning on Babia Gora mountain. Three others were also injured by lightning in the same area and a man drowned in a flood.
cw/jm (AFP, AP, dpa)