Man Struck by Lightning at Midlands Dam While Fishing

An elderly man died at Midlands Dam yesterday, 16th of December, struck by lightning while he was holding an umbrella and fishing with a friend.
lightning-strikes

Premchand Chady, a 68-year-old man, lost his life while fishing at Midlands Dam, struck by lightning, yesterday 16th of December. While fishing with a friend of his, he was holding an umbrella. The weather was extremely windy and rainy in many regions of the island yesterday, with thunder and lightning adding up to the atmosphere.

The tragic incident occurred at around noon. Premchand Chady had his whole body burnt upon being struck from the sky – he could not survive from the impact.

The friend who was accompanying him immediately informed the authorities. The medical personnel that reached the spot where they were fishing examined him and confirmed his death. His body was then transported to Victoria hospital at Candos. Dr Sudesh Kumar Gungadin performed an autopsy on the corpse and concluded that Premchand Chady died of electrocution.

Recorded cases of people in Mauritius being hit by lightning are quite rare. Lightning strikes do have the potential of hurting people badly. This can happen in different ways, any of which can be fatal.

Direct strike

This occurs mostly in open areas whereby the lightning hits the person directly from above him, in a straight-line fashion. It is rarer compared to the other ways but also the deadliest. Part of the current discharged moves over the body of the person, while another portion moves through the cardiovascular or nervous system. The heat generated causes skin burns.

Side flash

This happens when the lightning hits a taller object (for instance, a tree), and part of the current shifts from the latter to a person nearby.

Ground current

When lightning hits an object,a great portion of the energy travels outward to the ground surface, forming ground current. If a person is outside when this happens, he might become a victim of the phenomenon of ground current. The current enters the body through the feet (or whatever part of the body in contact with the lightning strike), going through the cardiovascular or nervous system.

Conduction

Metal surfaces are good conductors of the current generated. The lightning therefore passes through metal surfaces, and anyone in contact with the latter can be hit by the current.

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