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Sunday, June 14, 1998 Published at 07:14 GMT 08:14 UK


World: Americas

Lightning hits fans at 'Free Tibet' concert

Musician Sean Lennon and Chinese dissident Wei Jinsheng at a press conference before the concert

At least six people have been injured by lightning at a rock concert in Washington DC which was organised to demand an end to China's occupation of Tibet.

One woman was said to be in a critical condition after being thrown 15 feet by a bolt of lightning which struck late on Saturday afternoon.

Panicked and terrified fans in the RFK stadium sought cover and the concert was quickly suspended.

The two-day concert is one of several events being organised to draw attention to Tibet ahead of President Clinton's visit to China.

Tens of thousands of fans had packed the open-air stadium to hear bands including Radiohead, REM, the Verve, the Beastie Boys and Pearl Jam. Organisers say they hope to resume the event on Sunday.

Eyewitnesses said the first bolt of lightning sounded like an explosion, interrupting a performance on stage by Herbie Hancock. Several more lightning bolts followed, accompanied by deafening thunder and pounding rain.

On Monday a protest demonstration that organisers say may prove to be the largest ever rally in aid of Tibet is being held on the steps of the Capitol building.



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