Lightning strike in Greek mountains kills endurance athlete and injures another

Yellow warning issued for heat, storms, and hailstones in Valencian Community

Image of a lightning bolt. Credit: AlbertoOrtega/

A 55-year-old athlete competing in an endurance event high in the northern Greek mountains was killed by a lightning strike.

A 55-year-old athlete competing in an endurance race in Greece has been killed by a lightning strike. The freak accident occurred high in the mountains of northern Greece in the early hours of Sunday, August 21. Another 56-year-old runner was also injured in the incident.

Both men were taking part in the Six Peaks event and were running at an altitude of around 4,400ft in the highest points of Mount Falakro when the lightning bolt struck them.

Image of Mount Falakro in northern Greece. Credit: Google maps – Jerome Lherbet

When the 55 runners taking part in the race set off, the weather conditions had reportedly been fair, but, as the day evolved, heavy rain set in. At the time of the lightning strike, several of the other competitors had already crossed the finish line at a ski resort, and both men were among a group of 12 athletes still running.

Two teams of firefighters were deployed from a nearby town after news of the accident was called through. They made their way up the mountain where they found one person already dead, and another seriously injured. He was subsequently airlifted to a hospital in the town of Kavala.

The Six Peaks event started out from the village of Pyrgoi at 7pm on Saturday, August 20. It is nestled some 2,066ft up the slopes of the enormous 7,323ft-high Greek mountain that extends across the border into Bulgaria. All six peaks of Falakro have an altitude in excess of 6,500ft, as reported by


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at