A bolt of lightning on the tracks, and the train of the old funicular, which takes tourists to the most beautiful panorama of the Pyrenees, right on the heights of Lourdes, has nailed. The passengers shouted and fell on top of each other on the floor of the two cars. Screams and cries of a three-year-old child, little damage for a dozen people, but a couple of fifty, in more serious conditions, was transported to the hospital in Lourdes.
The sky darkened in the early afternoon, then at about 5pm a real storm began, which forced all the tourists who were on the summit overlooking Lourdes, 900 meters above sea level, to crowd into the wagon for the return to the basis. Someone had not even completed the path that, from the arrival of the funicular at the top station, leads to the summit, where there is a viewpoint with a 360 degree view of all the peaks of the Pyrenees.
An investigation was opened on the incident and the plant was closed until further notice. The mayor of Lourdes, Thierry Lavit, went to the hospital of the city, a pilgrimage destination to the Grotto of the Apparitions, to visit the hospitalized people. Twelve were the people who had to resort to medical care. No lightning, the rescuers specified, hit the cabins of the funicular. One fell on the tracks, causing the sudden interruption of the current and the braking of the cabin, which was in the process of descent with 27 passengers on board. Abrupt braking and immediate restart, with bruises and some fear. The two seriously injured are not in danger of life or in a confidential prognosis. Much fear for a 3-month-old baby who was involved in the accident, but the baby is unharmed.
For almost everyone else, the damage reported is bruises and bruises, especially “to the shoulders and arms”, some have reported damage to the face. Lourdes, like other French sites, suffered from the Covid crisis which decimated the arrivals of tourists and pilgrims. Just today, the Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire, met with representatives of the tourism sector of the city of Lourdes, linked to the pilgrimage works, and announced important support measures to them. For August 15, a festival that usually attracts about 25,000 people, this year no more than 5,000 will be present in the Sanctuary sector and the same number in the Basilica due to anti-Covid health measures. The Sanctuary expects losses of over 8 million euros this year.