Aussie man killed by lightning at popular tourist spot



A man was killed by lightning strike at a popular tourist destination in Australia's Northern Territory (NT), local authorities said on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old man was hiking with four family members on the Rim Walk at Kings Canyon, 450 kilometers southwest of Alice Springs, when he was struck at approximately 5pm local time on Monday.

"There was two storms approaching, there was some flash floods and there was surrounding lightning," Vicki Koum, NT Police Acting Duty Superintendent, told reporters on Tuesday.

"Sadly, a 35-year-old male, he was struck by lightning and he fell to the ground and obviously we had rangers and there were other persons there that assisted and dealt with the deceased."

The Bureau of Meteorology on Monday afternoon issued severe thunderstorm warnings for several parts of the NT, including Kings Canyon.

In a statement on Monday evening, a NT Police spokesperson said that the nature of the weather event delayed rescue efforts.

"The remote location and inclement weather hampered the rescue efforts with flash flooding causing delays," the spokesperson said.

"We have since recovered the body. The other hikers were not injured, however they are suffering extreme shock."

Kings Canyon is one of the most popular hiking spots in Central Australia with visitors regularly flocking to the spot to see the sun set or rise over the 71,000 hectare Watarrka National Park.

The area remained open on Tuesday as police carried out an investigation.

"It's a very sad tragedy. Unfortunately it's a lightning strike, death by nature. Very sad," Koum said.