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As many as 45,000 people were attending the event

Lightning Strikes Injure 71 At Rock Festival

WT24 Desk

A rock music festival in Germany has been “suspended” after more than 70 people were injured by lightning strikes, agencies report. There had been calls for the Rock am Ring festival, which takes place in Mendig, around 93 miles (150km) from Frankfurt, to be shut down as more thunderstorms are forecast.

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. German news website Deutsche Welle reports 45,000 music fans had gathered for the event, which was interrupted by extreme weather for at least half an hour on Friday.

A festival spokeswoman had dismissed claims that the rest of the three-day festival would be called off, but organisers later confirmed it would be suspended because of concerns about more bad weather.The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Black Sabbath are among the acts in the line-up at the event, which is in its 31st year.

The latest injuries come after severe weather and flooding in parts of Europe left 16 people dead. Eleven of those killed were in Germany, two in France, two in Romania and one in  Belgium. In France, a state of “natural catastrophe” has been declared and tourist attractions closed after the River Seine swelled to unusually high levels and water spilled on to the streets of Paris.

Water levels have begun to decrease, but officials say it could take days for the river to go down to normal levels. One of the France’s worst affected regions is Loiret, not far from the capital, where more than 5,000 have now been forced to leave their homes.

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