Five injured in storms on Vierdaagse festival grounds

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Five people were injured at the Nijmeegse Vierdaagse on Wednesday when storms broke out over parts of Gelderland. Only one of the injuries was serious enough to need hospital treatment, NOS reports.

A woman was injured at the start- and finish line in Wedren when a branch broke free and hit her. She was taken to hospital for treatment. The branch also hit and damaged a car. Four people sustained minor injuries on the festival terrain due to flying debris.

According to the organization of the Vierdaagse, the festivities continued despite the stormy weather.

On Wednesday afternoon meteorological institute KNMI issued a code orange weather warning for Gelderland, warning of lots of rain, hail and wind gusts up to 75 kilometers per hour. According to the Volkskrant, all marchers were already done with the day' walking and inside when the storms hit.

The storms were an reaction to the heat of the day. According to the KNMI, Wednesday was the hottest July 20th ever measured in the Netherlands.

A total of 2,050 participants dropped out of the Vierdaagse on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the organization confirmed to ANP. On Tuesday 1,206 didn't reach the finish line. On Wednesday the number of drop outs stood at 4.4 percent, twice as high as the previous two days.

The organizers attribute the high dropout rate to the tropically high temperatures. The second day of the Vierdaagse also always sees the most dropouts, usually people who pushed through the first day but can't go any further.

March leader Johan Willemstein was still satisfied with how the second day went, calling it a "beautiful walking day". Heat complaints sent hundreds of participants to the first aid posts, to such an extent that extra volunteers had to be called in. And some spots on the route was too crowded. But according to Willemstein, that was to be expected "under these circumstances".