Four injured in lightning strikes

Four people have been taken to hospital following lightning strikes in the Lake District.

Emergency and rescue services were called to three incidents in hillside locations between 3pm and 3.35pm on Wednesday.

A helicopter from HMS Gannet at Prestwick, Ayrshire, was initially deployed following reports of a male casualty near Langdale, Cumbria, who had suffered a suspected shoulder injury. While flying in the area, the crew were then alerted to the spate of lightning strikes in Grasmoor, Crag Hill and Whiteless Pike.

A Royal Navy spokeswoman said: "The first incident was at 3pm when a male walker seemed to be suffering from the effects of shock from a strike. He was being airlifted when we immediately got a call to a party of three people on Crag Hill, two of whom were injured."

The spokesman continued: "The crew were then called to a party of six at Whiteless Pike and one injured woman was airlifted and then taken to hospital." It is thought none of the casualties were seriously injured.

Mountain rescue teams from Cockermouth and Keswick also assisted in the rescue operation.

Cockermouth mountain rescue team leader Mike Park said they were called to the strikes at Grasmoor and Whiteless Pike.

He said: "A man in his 50s was said to have been thrown 30ft in the air by a mini-explosion at Grasmoor. He had not been struck but was nearby to the impact. He was unconscious for a few minutes but he didn't seem to have suffered any burns.

"I understand a group of 13 people were involved at Crag Hill where the lightning struck at 3.15pm, and eight people were thrown to the ground.

"At 3.35pm we were called to reports of a female in her mid-30s being struck at Whiteless Pike. She was physically struck on the head and suffered burns. It appeared the lightning exited out of her foot because she had injuries to her ankle."