Two sisters have been killed and a third was left seriously injured after a lightning bolt struck them while on a family hike in Norway.
Victoria and Benedicte Myrset, aged 12 and 18, got caught in a storm while walking in the mountainous region of Hareid on Norway’s western coast on Sunday.
A third sister, who has not been named, who was walking with them at the time was seriously injured by the lightning.
She was rushed to a nearby hospital but has since been transferred to a larger hospital in the city of Bergen, where she remains.
The trio, from Oslo, were walking on Melshorn mountain, a popular tourist spot, when the tragic incident happened.
Officials launched an urgent rescue mission after a woman who was with the three sisters sounded the alarm at around 5pm and believed all three had been killed at first, police said.
An air ambulance scrambled to the scene and recovered the bodies of Victoria and Benedicte, before rushing their sister to hospital for treatment.
Local mayor Brent Brandal said in a statement that it was a ‘deeply tragic event’ that could not have been predicted as the weather ‘changed tremendously fast’.
Norwegian broadcaster NRK said more than 800 lightning strikes were recorded in the area on Sunday afternoon and early evening.
Oslo mayor Marianne Borden said her thoughts were with the girls’ loved ones.
She told local newspaper VG: ‘This is a great tragedy that hits a family so hard. This is something we all feel affected by.’
Ms Borden added that locals ‘want to do our part’ to make sure people are adequately supported, while Benedicte’s school is preparing a memorial service after the school holidays are over.
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