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Man, 39, dies in lightning strike - police
Police confirm death of Marsascala man in lightning strike.
3 September 2012, 12:00am
A 39-year-old man has been reported to have died from lightning strike.
The man, from Marsascala, was in a field in Triq il-Blajjiet in Marsacala with another man, when he was struck by a bolt of lightening, a police spokesperson confirmed.
Police said that the other man, a 25-year-old Zabbar resident, called the victim's brother for assistance.
The victim was rushed to St James Hospital in Zabbar in his brother's vehicle. He was however pronounced dead upon arrival.
The men were said to be recovering in hospital suffering from shock, sources added.
A resident from Zabbar told MaltaToday the men took shelter under a tree from the sudden torrential downpour that happened at around 4pm.
If the man was struck directly from a lightning strike, the electricial discharge would have instantly killed him. The man might have been killed by 'side splash', if the bolt first struck the tree he was sheltering under. Ground strikes, which involves urrent passing from a strike through the ground into a nearby victim, can also happen.
An estimated 24,000 people are killed by lightning strikes around the world each year and about 240,000 are injured. In the United States, it is second only to floods as the main weather killer.
Trees are frequent conductors of lightning to the ground, because sap is a poor conductor and when eletricity passes through a tree it heats explosively into steam. Trees are natural lightning conductors and are known to provide protection against lightning damage to nearby buildings by diverting lightning strikes away from structures.
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