Around Slovakia

Lightning strikes leave four Slovaks dead
Racing car crashes into spectators
Truck full of sugar stolen from central Slovak city
SNS official's son charged with smuggling immigrants

Ivánka pri Nitre, Detva
Lightning strikes leave four Slovaks dead

Four people died after lightning strikes in separate incidents July 15 as storms wreaked havoc across Slovakia.
"I saw the lightning hit Ľuboš, who fell down. I was falling with him. When I woke up I couldn't feel my legs. I had terrible pains in my stomach and back," said 15 year-old Petra from Nitra. Petra survived after her boyfriend, whose hand she was holding at the time, was hit by lightning as they walked to the local bus station. He died on the spot. Petra suffered severe burns and is currently in Nitra hospital. A 16-year-old friend, Michal, who was with them at the time, died hours later at the hospital.
Another lightning strike at the Slávnosti pod Poľanou annual folklore dance and song festival in Detva killed a 25 year-old mother and her three year-old son on the same day.
The lightning hit the two as they stood in line at a refreshment stand. The mother was hit directly and died immediately, and although the doctors tried to save her son, whom she was holding in her arms when the lightning struck, he later died. The mother of the dead woman, who was standing with her daughter and grandson, suffered minor burns.


Pezinok
Racing car crashes into spectators

Two people suffered serious injuries and four incurred minor injuries, including a seven year-old boy, while watching a motor car race at Pezinská Baba near Bratislava, July 22. One of the race cars careered off the track approaching a corner, ploughing into a group of spectators who organisers say were in an 'off-limits' area.
Marián H. from Košice, who was hit by the car, recalled the accident. "I was standing by the track with my brother. I clearly remember we were standing behind the [security] line. A car took a bend at full speed, went into a skid, and hit the crash barrier, turned upside down and fell on us."
The organisers have argued, however, that "the spectators were in a clearly off-limits area, sitting on the crash barriers. The spectators were told several times that they were sitting in a dangerous area and that they should leave it," said Jozef Studenič, organiser of the event.
According to Studenič, similar collisions are almost always a result of spectator indiscipline, "as was the case a few years ago, also at Pezinská Baba. One spectator ignored security organisers' warnings and sat down on a crash barrier. One of the cars hit him and cut his leg off."


Zvolen
Truck full of sugar stolen from central Slovak city

An unidentified criminal stole 22 tonnes of sugar loaded in a truck parked in Strážska cesta road in Zvolen on July 20. Total damage is estimated at 1.1 million Slovak crowns ($22,000). Police are investigating the case.


Lučenec
SNS official's son charged with smuggling immigrants

Patrik E., the 18 year-old son of Ivan E., head of the Banská Bystrica regional Slovak Nationalist Party (SNS), has been charged by local police with illegal border crossing and smuggling.
Patrik is one of three young men charged after they attempted to cross the Slovak-Hungarian border near Šiatorská Bukovinka in the Lučenec region with eight people from Iran, Iraq, Palestine and Sierra Leone.


Compiled by Martina Pisárová from press reports

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