Fatal lightning strike witness says man part of large group

A MAN has been struck and killed by lightning at a popular camping spot at Inskip Point, north of Rainbow Beach.

Witness Eric Sprott told Gympie Times editor Craig Warhurst that the victim had been a member of a large group staying at the SS Dorrigo Campground, just south of the ferry landing.

Mr Sprott, of Gympie, said about 100 people had been on the beach watching an angler land a large fish just after 6pm, and many would have witnessed the tragedy.

He reported that lightning had struck nearby Fraser Island only moments earlier, literally making the group's hair stand on end and sending people scurrying back to campsites.

The man had been standing with a young boy on the beach and was walking back to the campsite when hit by the next lightning strike.

Authorities said late last night an 11-year-old had been taken to Gympie Hospital with minor injuries.

Storms swept over the Gympie region from the south-west yesterday, bringing down trees and powerlines, blocking the Bruce Hwy and blacking out more than 170 homes.