11 injured as lightning strikes Paris park

Paris (AFP) - Eleven people, most of them children, were injured Saturday when lightning struck a birthday party in a Paris park, officials said, adding that six of the victims were seriously injured.

Police said eight children and three adults were hurt when the storm hit as they were holding the celebrations in Parc Monceau in northwest Paris.

"They had taken shelter under a tree," said Paris official Karen Taieb.

Three of the children and one adult had life-threatening injuries, the Paris force said, with another child and another adult also seriously injured.

The children were aged between 7 and 14.

Local official Vincent Baladi, speaking to iTELE television, had earlier given a slightly different toll of 10 children and one adult injured.

"We hope they will all pull through," said Baladi, who handles security matters in Paris' eighth arrondissement where the park is located.

"They have burns," he said, adding that paramedics and firefighters were at the scene. "The lightning struck suddenly."

The injured were taken to Necker hospital, a specialist children's hospital in southwest Paris.

The park, in a well-heeled neighbourhood of the city's northwest, is popular with families at the weekend.