A witness to the fatality on Mt Warning who was struck by Lightening is interviewed by Tweed Heads Police at the foot of the Mountain.
A witness to the fatality on Mt Warning who was struck by Lightening is interviewed by Tweed Heads Police at the foot of the Mountain. Scott Powick

One dead, one injured after Mt Warning lightning strike

UPDATE 3.30pm: POLICE have praised two Queensland teens for their quick response in helping to revive a man struck by lightning at Mt Warning early today.

Tweed/Bryon LAC Superintendent Wayne Starling said the teens had done their best under "traumatic circumstances".

"They've got to be proud of the effort they made to save another human's life," Supt Starling said.

"They should have no baggage from what happened up on the mountain today. "The lady didn't appear to be seriously injured at the time.

"Their main priority was trying to save the male that was deceased."

Supt Starling said the deceased man and injured woman were both aged in their twenties and were foreign tourists who decided to camp on the mountain last night.

"They'd pitched their tent to a tree and just shortly prior to 4.50am this morning lightning struck the tree and went through the tree," he said.

"It appears it may have touched the male's seat in the tent and sadly killed him.

"Inquiries have been made to notify and locate the family at the moment."

Supt Starling said the two teens who stumbled upon the emergency scene were not concerned about the weather conditions when they started their hike early this morning.

"According to the people this morning who were hiking up the mountain that found the deceased, they said the conditions at the base of the mountain were fine," he said.

"It was only as they went further up the mountain they found the conditions had changed severely." Supt Starling said he was impressed by the hard work of the rescue services, especially when dealing with a death.

"When people are at their worst, the rescue services are at their best," he said.

"They support each other very well in situations like this.

"It is hard for them, any death is hard. Especially when you look at the age of the person involved was in his twenties. Many of the rescue operators have children the same age so it's hard for them."

The rescue services who arrived on the scene included the ambulance, the national parks and wildlife, the SES, the RFS and the VRA.

"There were 35 people in the whole operation, and about 15 people involved in the retrieval," Supt Starling said.

Police will provide a report to the coroner.


UPDATE 1pm: A BODY has been retrieved by rescue services from Mt Warning following a lightning strike earlier today. 

A government contractors van then removed the body from the national park car park at 11.38am. 

SES Chaplian Paul von Bratt was on the scene to offer support to emergency services and also spoke with the two teens who gave initial medial assistance before the paramedics arrived. 

"I was making sure they were okay, giving them a basic understanding of what they would experience as normal human beings responding to a critical incident," Mr von Bratt said. 

Mr von Bratt said the two teens, who were not connected to the the injured pair, were "tired but okay."

"From what I could gather from our quick conversation was they were hiking up to enjoy the sunrise, of course the weather delayed that so on their way down they were assisting," he said.

Police are yet to confirm the any more details about the victims until the next of kin have been identified. 


MONDAY 11.15am: A WOMAN has been taken to Murwillumbah Hospital suffering from shock and neck injuries after her tent was struck by lightning and her partner killed at Mt Warning early today.

Her partner's body is still being retrieved from the top of the mountain by rescue services, with weather conditions ruling out any assistance by helicopter services.

Tweed Byron LAC Superintendent Wayne Starling said paramedics had managed to steer the woman, who was suffering from neck injuries and shock, to the care of the hospital.

"A couple were camping in a tent at Mt Warning last night," Supt Starling said.

"About 4.50am this morning lightning struck a tree adjoining their tent. He was killed pretty much instantly."

Supt Starling said two people, believed to be teenagers hiking in the area, had tried to assist the couple before alerting authorities.

"We had two persons from Queensland try to rescucitate him for over an hour," Supt Starling.

"A woman was with him in the tent and she has received neck injuries and there is some shock. She has been convyed to Murwillumbah Hospital."

Supt Starling said 35 emergency services workers from National Parks and Wildlife Services, Rural Fire Service, NSW Ambulance, SES and police were involved in the rescue operation.

The two teenagers, who were not connected to the injured couple, are believed to have been hiking when they came across the pair and administered medical treatment until paramedics arrived on the scene.

SES chaplain Paul von Bratt, who spoke with the teens, said they were emotionally distressed.

Further details on the victims will be released after the next of kin have been identified.

Weather conditions improving

Meanwhile, weather conditions are expected to ease at Mt Warning as rescue operations continue to retrieve the body of a man killed by lightning overnight.

Weatherzone meteorologist Kim Westcott said rainy and cloudy conditions should ease as the morning progresses, before more storms potentially move into the region from this evening.

"We are looking at clearing conditions this morning, but it will be windy and humid in the afternoon," Ms Westcott said.

"There's a slight chance of another thunderstorm later this evening and into tomorrow morning."

The Northern Rivers was drenched during severe storms early this morning with Murwillumbah bucketed by 42mm of rain over the last 24 hours, while Uki recorded a drenching of 23mm.

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