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German music festival Rock am Ring cancelled after lightning injures 80

Biffy Clyro had been due to headline on Sunday night

Adam Withnall
Sunday 05 June 2016 12:27 BST
Lightning strikes end German rock festival

One of Germany’s most popular rock festivals has been cancelled after more than 80 people were injured by lightning strikes during fierce and sudden summer storms.

The Rock am Ring festival becomes the latest victim of the deadly storms which have seen strong winds, heavy rain, hail and flash flooding sweep across western and central Europe in recent days.

Organisers were forced to pull the plug on the third and final day of the festival, where Biffy Clyro were due to be headlining, after the local authorities withdrew their licence.

The news was broken to 92,000 attendants on Facebook and Twitter – but there were some who criticised the decision not to cancel the festival earlier.

The German Red Cross said at least 72 people were admitted to hospital after the storm struck late on Friday, though a statement from organisers suggested even more were injured. Of those, at least eight people are reported to be seriously hurt.

The downpour saw performances suspended for a number of hours, but it briefly reopened on Saturday night when the Red Hot Chili Peppers played the main stage.

In a statement, the festival asked fans to leave the site “no later than noon on Sunday”. New lightning storms were forecast to hit the area from 1pm.

“The organisers accept the decision [of local officials] because of our responsibility for the welfare of fans,” the statement read. “We regret this exceptional decision, but we ask for your understanding in this emergency, which is a result of the storms.”

Summer storms have been circulating across Germany, France, Belgium, Poland and Romania in the past week, and at least 18 people have died largely as a result of flash flooding.

More than 11,000 homes are without electricity in France, while Paris’s famous Louvre Museum remained closed on Sunday as the waters of the River Seine hit threatening levels.

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