Children in critical condition after lighting hit Paris park
AT LEAST four children have been seriously injured after lightning struck a park in Paris.
Eight children and three adults suffered burns in the incident in Parc Monceau in the eighth arrondisement, in the city's north west.
Erin Moulin, a spokesman for the Paris fire service said 11 people, including eight children, were hit by lightning.
The children, aged between seven and 14, were at a birthday party and had taken shelter under a tree during the storm. The tree was reportedly struck by lightning around 3.30pm local time.
Mr Moulin says six of those shocked were seriously injured, including four children and two adults, and four of them were in a life-threatening condition.
He said a further five people were slightly injured, including four children and another adult.
Earlier reports said ten children and one adult had been struck.
A local official had told iTELE television: "There are currently 11 injured unfortunately, 10 children and an adult who was accompanying them."
Mr Moulin also said an off-duty fire officer was one of the first to arrive on the scene. He said the fireman administered first aid and helped to direct rescuers to the scene.
He said: "Without his help in those initial moments the situation would have been much worse."
Laurence Rossignol, France's families minister, tweeted: "All of my thoughts are with the children injured at Parc Moneau and their overwhelmed and worried families.
Toutes mes pensées pour les enfants blessés au Parc Monceau et les familles bouleversées et inquiètes.— laurence rossignol (@laurossignol) May 28, 2016
Météo France, the country's meteorological service, issued orange alert warnings for 19 regions of France on Saturday, but not the Parisian region, Île-de-France.
Paris City Hall said the storm was "sudden and unpredictable."
It said: "We received a weather alert just a few minutes before the tragedy happened."