August 3, 2009

Man hurt but alive after lightning strike

A 38-year-old bricklayer in the British town of Kettering says he is lucky to have survived being struck by lightning while walking his dogs.

The Daily Mail Monday said Brad Gifford was hit by a 300,000-volt bolt of lightning while attempting to seek shelter from a thunderstorm by ducking under a tree.

Gifford suffered burns to 11 percent of his body and both of his eardrums were burst. Nonetheless, he expressed relief at having survived the potentially deadly lightning strike, the newspaper said.

I think I got off very, very lightly, he said. There was a bloke in hospital the week before me who got hit by lightning and died.

I'm just glad I wasn't holding the dogs' leads when I got hit. That would have been the end of them.

Safety experts say individuals should avoid isolated trees and swimming pools, along with high or open spaces, during a thunderstorm, the Daily Mail said.