A man died after a lightning strike at a tourist restaurant near Stuttgart. The 35-year-old, who was sitting under a tree at a beer table set during the accident, died in hospital, according to the police.
An 11-year-old boy and a 43-year-old woman also suffered life-threatening injuries in the accident on Saturday afternoon in Unterensingen in the Esslingen district. While the child was doing a little better, according to a police spokesman, the woman was still in intensive care.
The three particularly badly injured were sitting on a beer table set under a tree on Saturday afternoon when lightning struck the tree, the police said. Another woman was injured. The children of the 40-year-olds - a 4-year-old boy and a girl aged almost 11 months - suffered a shock. According to the police, they were in a bicycle trailer.
Ambulance service with large contingent on site
First responders took care of the injured until they were taken to hospitals. A rescue helicopter flew the boy to a hospital. The rescue service was on site with a large contingent, including four emergency doctors. An emergency aftercare service was deployed to look after the first responders and eyewitnesses. About 15 other people were sheltering in a barn when the storm hit.
The Federal Working Group (BAG) for more safety for children advises to seek shelter in a building or a closed car during thunderstorms. Outdoors you should look for a flat spot or, even better, a deepening. "Squat down, feet close together, arms around knees."
Avoid solitary trees
The Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies (VDE) warns on its website: "Avoid being in the immediate vicinity of objects that are particularly vulnerable to impact." These are, for example, isolated trees, forest edges, mountain peaks and masts of overhead lines.
Inside a forest with evenly tall trees, the risk of a lightning strike is lower. A distance of at least ten meters from all trees and branches is optimal. The VDE warns that the saying "You should give way to oak trees and look for beech trees" does not apply. "Lightning strikes all types of trees equally."
Thunderstorms had swept across Baden-Württemberg all weekend. In Mannheim, the organizers canceled the Christopher Street Day (CSD) parade an hour earlier than planned. Dennis Sommer from the demo line explained that there was thunder and lightning. "Safety first." Thousands of people were affected.