Over 70 injured after lightning strikes rock festival in Germany

The Rock am Ring festival was headlined by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Over 70 people have been injured, eight seriously, after lightning struck a rock festival crowd in western Germany early on Saturday morning.

Organisers of the Rock am Ring festival, which is headlined by Red Hot Chili Peppers, said lightning hit at 00:30 local time - around 10.30pm Saturday evening Irish time.

Festival organisers said on Saturday morning that 42 people had been hurt, eight seriously, but the numbers rose to 71 as more fans came forward with injuries.

The event has now been suspended because of weather concerns.

Police told German media two people had to be resuscitated after Saturday's incident at the airport in the town of Mendig, about 100km (62 miles) west of Frankfurt near Koblenz.

The Rock am Ring festival - a particular favourite in Germany - also suffered lightning strikes last year, when around 33 people were taken to hospital.

The website for the festival, now in its 31st year, warned fans of the possibility of strong rainfall and thunderstorms on Saturday evening.

The Rock Am Ring organisers initially said this year's event would continue until Sunday, and that clear weather was expected for most of the day on Saturday.

The police confirmed the incident.

Last weekend, more than 30 people were taken to hospital in the western German village of Hoppstaedten when lightning struck the pitch at the end of a children’s football match.

On the same day, 11 people, most of them children, were injured by lightning in a Paris park after taking shelter under a tree during a storm.

France, Germany and other parts of western and central Europe have suffered hugely by deadly storms and floods over the past week.

At least 16 people have been killed in the flooding, including 11 in southern Germany.