More than 70 people injured after lightning strikes at Germany's Rock am Ring festival for second year in a row

The festival was suspended on Saturday amid fears of further storms

Lizzie Dearden@lizziedearden
Saturday 04 June 2016 09:11
People walk on mud after the venue of the festival 'Rock am Ring' was hit by a storm in Mendig, Germany, 3 June 2016.
People walk on mud after the venue of the festival 'Rock am Ring' was hit by a storm in Mendig, Germany, 3 June 2016.

More than 70 people have been injured after lightning struck a rock festival in Germany for the second year running.

At least 42 fans were hospitalised on Friday evening, including at least two people who had to be resuscitated by paramedics, although none were in a life-threatening condition.

One man was seen lying in the mud with what appeared to be burn holes and scorch marks on his jeans as he was surrounded by emergency services.

People reassemble a tent after the venue of the festival 'Rock am Ring' was hit by a storm in Mendig, Germany, 03 June 2016

Organisers warned thousands of people attending Rock am Ring to seek shelter as a severe thunderstorm moved in shortly after 8pm (7pm BST).

Police said that lighting hit at around 8.30pm, injuring “many” people at the site, causing firefighters and ambulances to be sent to the scene as an emergency information hotline was set up.

Local media reports said up to 71 people had been injured, while Rock am Ring organisers said 42 people had been taken to hospital, including eight with serious injuries.

The festival’s live performances were stopped for around one-and-a-half hours as 90,000 fans remained gathered at the former airfield, where acts including Tenacious D, Panic! At The Disco, The 1975 and Major Lazer were due to be performing on Friday night.

Rock fans from walk across the muddy camping area at the music festival 'Rock am Ring' in Mendig, Germany, 3 June 2016.

Last year, at least 33 people were injured when lightning struck the festival twice in Mendig, western Germany.

Tens of thousands of rock fans attend the annual event, where the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Black Sabbath were due to perform.

But concern over continuing severe weather caused authorities to order the festival be suspended on Saturday afternoon, with organisers saying there were fears of injuries in further lightning strikes.

"Please stay in your tents or for your own protection go to your cars," said a message issued on social media.

“It's not about causing panic but giving people the feeling that someone is looking after them,” said Marek Lieberberg, head of the organisers.

Thunderstorms are forecast to continue in the region over the coming days amid a spell of severe weather in Europe that has led to the deaths of at least 16 people.

In Paris, the River Seine has surged to its highest level in almost 35 years, causing museums, parks and cemeteries to be shut down as the French capital prepared for possible evacuations.

At least 11 people have died in Germany, including a 72-year-old man who died of a heart attack after being rescued from a raging stream in the village of Triftern.

There have also been deaths in Romania and Belgium.

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