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British couple hit by lightning during violent storm in France

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British couple hit by lightning during violent storm in France
Photo: AFP
18:17 CEST+02:00
A British couple suffered burns from being struck by lightning during a violent storm in the south of France.

The pair of motorcyclists were caught in a storm on Monday afternoon near the village of Villeneuve-de-Berg (Ardeche) and pulled over to the side of the main road.

But the couple, aged 25 and 28, were then struck by a bolt of lightning, according to the local Dauphiné Libéré newspaper.

It was initially reported that the pair had taken shelter under a tree during the storm but a family member has since told The Local they were on the road when they were hit by the bolt of lightning. An incident that was "very scary and traumatic", according to the family.

The woman suffered superficial burns to her chest and the man suffered minor injuries and was left with "aches and pains". While the man has been released from hospital in Lyon the woman is being kept in for close observation.

Getting hit by lightning might seem like a one in a million chance, but 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 - APF).

The month of May in France saw the most lightning strikes ever recorded as a series of storms repeatedly lashed the country. There have been more storms in recent days in the south east and south west of the country.

The risk of getting hit goes up with the temperature, so it's especially important to be vigilant during warm weather spells.

The APF stresses the importance of staying away from trees. In fact, tall objects in general attract lightning and should be avoided. The taller the object, the likelier it is to be hit by lightning.

Here's some advice on the best ways to stay safe in a lightning storm. 

READ ALSO: Violent storms in France - How to avoid being struck by lightning

Violent storms in France: How to avoid being struck by lightning

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