Eight children and three adults at a children’s birthday party in Paris were struck by lightning yesterday after a sudden storm sent a bolt crashing down upon them.
According to reports, four children and two adults were seriously injured. Four of those seriously injured are in life-threatening condition. One adult and five children were slightly injured.
The birthday group had sought shelter under a tree at Park Monceau, a northwest Paris park popular with well-to-do families, when a lightning bolt touched down, according to Paris fire service spokesman Eric Moulin.
He put the children’s ages at about nine.
Moulin said that Pascal Gremillet, an off-duty firefighter, was visiting a museum nearby when he noticed the commotion and discovered nine of the 11 people lying unconscious. He immediately went to work.
“He saw who was the most seriously injured. He did a quick triage of the victims. He did first aid. He alerted the rescue services,” Moulin told reporters. “Without his actions, it would have been much worse.”
Gremillet told journalists that one child’s heart had stopped beating when he arrived.
“I did first aid [and] a heart massage,” Gremillet said.
The other children “were in shock,” he said.
The victims had burns, Vincent Baladi, an official in Paris’s eighth district, said on iTELE television.