How to avoid lightning: Footballer dies after being struck

A video captured the moment a man was struck by lightning during a football match (Mojang Jajaka / YouTube)
A video captured the moment a man was struck by lightning during a football match (Mojang Jajaka / YouTube)

A footballer has died after he was struck by lightning during a match in Indonesia.

In a video, Septain Raharja, from Subang, is shown being hit before collapsing to the ground in front of his teammates.

The incident took place at a friendly match at the Siliwangi Stadium in Bandung, West Java.

He was still breathing after being struck and was rushed to a local hospital but died soon afterwards, according to local media PRFM News.

Another footballer, in Bojonegoro, East Java, was recently struck by lightning during the Soeratin U-13 Cup in 2023.

And in October 2023, a 12-year-old boy was left in critical condition and a man had to be taken to hospital after they were struck by lightning during a school football tournament in Hertford in October.

The news has led many to wonder what happens when a person is struck by lightning, what the chances of it happening are, and how you can avoid it.

What are the chances of being struck by lightning?

Experts don’t quite agree on what the odds of being struck by lightning are.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents says 30 to 60 people get struck by lightning in Britain each year, which would place the odds to be less than one in a million.

However, some experts suggest that it’s more likely than that, with the odds being more like one in 300,000.

Either way, while the chances are immensely low, the common saying of people being more likely to be struck by lightning than to win the National Lottery jackpot is true.

What happens if you’re struck by lightning?

If a person is struck by lightning, they need to receive emergency medical help as soon as they can.

If multiple people have been struck, the advice is to attend to those who are unconscious first, as they will be at the greatest risk of dying.

While the affected individual may appear dead and have no pulse or show signs of breathing, they can still be revived with CPR. So, it is important for anyone who knows how to do CPR to attempt it immediately.

Those who have been injured by the strike but remain conscious might suffer burns, wounds, and fractures, which medical professionals will need to address.

How to avoid being struck by lightning

  • Try to find an indoor shelter as soon as you can.

  • If you are stuck outdoors, avoid open fields, the tops of hills, and ridge tops.

  • Stay away from tall, isolated trees or other tall objects.

  • If there is a group of you, spread out to avoid the electric current travelling between people should the lightning strike.

  • Stay away from water, wet items, and metal objects, as they will conduct electricity.

  • If you’re in a car with a hard top, say inside and keep your windows rolled up.

  • Don’t go near small sheds and partially roofed shelters like pavilions.

  • Avoid open windows, sinks, toilets, showers, electric appliances, and electricity boxes, as they will conduct electricity, too.

  • Don’t use landlines unless it is an absolute emergency. Where you can, opt for mobile phones and cordless house phones instead.