Five people, including two children, have been killed after lightning strikes in the Tatra mountains in Poland and neighbouring Slovakia.

Another 100 people were hurt, some seriously with severe burns or head injuries, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said.

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A witness told local media that the thunderstorm came suddenly, with the day beginning with clear weather.

“Nobody expected such a sudden storm to break out and from our human point of view it was something which was impossible to predict,” said Mr Morawiecki.

A TOPR (Tatra Volunteer Search and Rescue) helicopter takes part in a rescue operation after a thunderstorm in the Tatra Mountains, in Zakopane, Poland August 22, 2019. Agencja Gazeta/Marek Podmokly via REUTERS   ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. POLAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN POLAND.
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The Tatra mountain range stretches across the southern border of Poland and into Slovakia

Leszek Dorula, the mayor of Zakopane – a town at the base of the mountains in Poland – declared Friday as a day of mourning.

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The Tatra range sits on Poland’s southern border with Slovakia.

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The lightning hit a group of tourists on Giewont, a 1,894-metre high mountain in Poland.

Climbers of the mountain often aim to end their trip at the summit, where an iron cross from 1901 sits. The cross is believed to conduct lightning.

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