Lightning Kills Tour Guide, Wounds French Tourists In Peru

(AFP) — A lightning strike killed a Peruvian tour guide and injured six French citizens during a hike on the multi-colored Vinicunca mountain, a tourist hotspot in the heart of the Andes, police said Monday.

The mountain, one of Peru’s most iconic sites along with Machu Picchu, has become a major attraction in the last decade, as warming temperatures have melted its glacier caps and revealed its colors.

Police said in a statement that the lightning strike on Sunday afternoon had left the French tourists, aged 22 to 40, with “burns and injuries.”

They have been hospitalised in the city of Cusco.

Vinicunca mountain, also known as the rainbow mountain or mountain of seven colours, has distinct hues striped across its slopes, the result of an accumulation of sediment over millions of years.

It rises to over 5,200 metres (17,000 feet) above sea level.

The death of the tour guide brings to five the number of people killed by lightning in the Peruvian Andes this year, according to authorities.