Lightening injures 18 hikers in Alps

Ljubljana – A lightning strike in the area of Mt Triglav in the Julian Alps has injured 18 mountaineers, two of them seriously, while the rescue effort was hampered by fog, the country’s Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief said on Friday.

According to initial information from the Kranj Police Department, the pair were flown to a hospital in Ljubljana at 8:30pm CET and their lives are not at stake.

The other 16 lightly injured persons remain at a hut on Mt Kredarica under the supervision of a doctor and mountain rescuers until Saturday morning when they are flown into the valley aboard two police and military helicopters.

The accident happened around 3pm in the area of Mt Mali Triglav, a 2,725-metre peak, as the mountaineers were en route from Mt Triglav, the country’s tallest mountain, towards Mt Kredarica, 2,515 metres. There were several lightening strikes in the area where they were hiking.

When a medical team of mountain rescuers started the rescue mission, the weather was fine but soon deteriorated forcing the police helicopter to land on Kredarica.

The team resorted to classical rescue techniques and with the help of other hikers, a mountain guide and Kredarica hut staff managed to bring the injured to Kredarica.

All of them received the needed medical attention, with a military helicopter joining in to get the two severely injured persons to the UKC Ljubljana hospital.