A birthday party in a park in Paris ended in a major operation for emergency services on Saturday after a lightning strike left 11 people injured, eight of them children.
One of the youngsters, all aged between seven and eight, remains in a serious condition in hospital.
The situation could have been worse had it not been for the rapid intervention of an off-duty firefighter who performed first aid in the Monceau park in the northwest of the French capital.
He then helped raise the alarm and emergency teams rushed to the scene.
In southwest Germany, a children’s football match was struck by lightning, leaving the referee and two other adults seriously hurt.
And, also on Saturday, in southern Poland a man was killed after being hit by lightning as he came down a mountain.