Watch: Spanish toddler dies after being hit by giant hailstone

Injuries were caused — mostly broken bones and bruising — to around 50 other people in the area

By Reuters

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Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Published: Fri 2 Sep 2022, 8:36 AM

A 20-month-old girl died after being struck on the head during a violent hailstorm that caused havoc in Catalonia, northeastern Spain, authorities said on Wednesday.

Fist-sized hailstones up to 10cm in diameter rained down on Tuesday, on an area around the village of La Bisbal d'Emporda. They caused injuries — mostly broken bones and bruising — to around 50 other people, broadcaster TV3 said.

"People started screaming and hiding", said musician Sicus Carbonell, who filmed the storm's destructive aftermath in Castell d'Emporda, a nearby hotel where his band was playing under a canvas-covered terrace, when everyone was forced to run for cover.

"There was chaos, with little boys and girls running around alone; some parents were able to grab their children," he told Reuters.

"There was a little girl of around three or four who was not sheltering under the parasol. I ran out and grabbed her. Then a hailstone broke though the fabric ... and I told my group that either we get into the restaurant or one of those tennis balls would land on us and we wouldn't make it."

The toddler who was struck in the head died at Girona's Trueta hospital, authorities there said.

The hailstones were the biggest recorded in two decades in Catalonia, according to meteorological agency Meteocat. Parts of the region remained on storm alert on Wednesday.


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