30 Nov 2010

Four killed by lightning strike

8:48 am on 30 November 2010

Four people have died instantly when they were hit by lightning in Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands Province on Saturday.

The lightning hit a group of people at a local market on Saturday, killing two women in their mid-20s, a middle-aged woman and a young boy.

Continuous rain, strong winds and lightning had been battering villages 18 kilometres outside of the provincial capital, Mendi.

Southern Highlands Provincial Disaster and Emergency Coordinator Martin Pat says the event was unusual as the lightning struck horizontally, hitting a group of about 21 people among the hundreds at the market.

He said 17 people were treated in hospital and some required surgery.