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Beachgoer killed by lightning strike in Riviera

Malcolm Curtis · 19 Jul 2013, 12:28

Published: 19 Jul 2013 12:28 GMT+02:00

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The bolt of lightning struck the man at the Mediterranean resort town of Bormes-les-Mimosain in the Var region.

The accident occurred at about 5pm, according to local news reports and came after weather forecasters had warned of thunderstorm risks in the region.

Medics attempted to resuscitate the victim without success, France 3 Provence-Alpes said.

The man’s wife was also injured by the bolt the TV station said, although not she was not seriously hurt.

The death came a week after lightning killed a 45-year-old German man on July 11th while he was sitting on a terrace in the village of Pietricaggio in Corsica.

Electricity was conducted by a metal ramp and struck the man, who could not be saved by medics.

And a week earlier, four hikers had to be taken to hospital for treatment of injuries after being electrocuted by lightning in the south of the island.

Every year in France, lightning strikes 100 to 200 people, with 10 to 20 deaths annually, according to the French lightning protection association (Association Protection Foudre).

The association notes that victims who escape death can suffer serious burns and psychological shock.

The risk of getting hit rises in the summer when thunder storms accompany periods of warm weather. France is set to be hit by a heatwave at the beginning of next week, which forecasters say will be followed by heavy thunderstorms.

Experts say that is wise to heed the warnings of weather forecasters and to stay away from water (a conductor of electricity) and open spaces, such as beaches, in the event of a storm.

Story continues below…

Other advice includes avoiding standing near tall objects like trees or towers that can attract lightning. Flying kites or carrying an umbrella is also advised against.

Cars are considered safe places to be in lightning storms even though they are made of metal, according to the wikiHow website.

If struck by lightning, the electricity will conduct around the body of the car to the ground, the website says.

Malcolm Curtis (news.france@thelocal.com)

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