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15 injured after lightning strikes Le Vieux Canal

A French music festival was cancelled early on Saturday after at least 15 attendees were struck by lightning.

The sixth Festival Le Vieux Canal, in Azerailles in north-eastern France, was pulled by local authorities after several festivalgoers suffered severe burns in what the festival describes as a “very violent thunderstorm” on the afternoon of 2 September.

“We are disappointed not to have been able to offer you the spectacle that we had promised, but safety takes precedence over everything else,” says festival tech Guillaume Mellé in a statement. He adds that his thoughts are with those injured.

“Safety takes precedence over everything else”

All Saturday evening performances, which including slots by electro act Pony Pony Run Run and pop five-piece black Black Bones, were cancelled.

According to the BBC, the victims were hit directly by the lightning and include children, who were sheltering in a tent during the storm. A woman in her sixties and a 44-year-old man are believed to be in critical condition.

Several high-profile European festivals, including Germany’s Rock am Ring and Southside, were cancelled last summer after attendees were struck by lightning. Southside/Hurricane 2017 were also threatened by storms, although both went ahead largely as planned.

 


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