Eight children struck by lightning in Paris

Photo: Matthieu Alexandre, AFP

Eleven people, including eight children and three adults were struck by lightning while celebrating a birthday Saturday, in Parc Monceau in Paris, according to reports from the scene.

The news site The Local France said the group was celebrating a birthday in the park when they suddenly found themselves in a middle of a thunderstorm and ran to find shelter under a tree. The tree was then struck by lightening.

The children, who are believed to be between seven and 14-years-old suffered burns from the episode and six of them are in a serious condition.

According to the French news paper Le Parisien one of the children had a cardiac arrest, but was saved by off-duty firefighter Pascal Gremillot who happened to drive by the park when he noticed the injured children. Spokesperson for the Fire Department, Eric Moulin said the situation would have been much worse if it had not been for Gremillot.

Sources say the children are being treated at a local hospital while their families are being taken care of by the emergency staff.

Météo France, the country’s meteorological service, issued orange alert warnings for 19 départements of France on Saturday. Orange is the second highest warning level on the service’s system, and asks the public to be “very vigilant,” according to The Local France.