Six killed by lightning in KZN

2015-02-01 07:16

Johannesburg - Three family members died after being hit by lightning near Colenso, KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday, paramedics said.

A 46-year-old mother, her 9-year-old daughter and her 10-year-old niece died when the lightning struck a house they were in, said Emergency Medical Services spokesperson Robert Mckenzie.

"The woman's husband amazingly survived the incident," he said.

This brings the total number of people killed by the lightning in the province to six, as three other people were also struck by lightning near Vryheid earlier on Saturday.

Two women, aged between 70 and 80, and a man, believed to be in his sixties, were confirmed dead at the scene, said Mckenzie.

They were believed to have been in a house at the time. Three other women sustained serious injuries when they were struck by the lightning.

"Paramedics stabilised them on the scene before transporting them to the local eDumbe Community Health Centre," said McKenzie.

  • Parry Nyte - 2015-02-01 07:25

    Why isn't the government concern about erecting lightening arresters in these areas.....

      Daniel Koen - 2015-02-01 07:37

      Impossible, they have to put up lightening arresters all over about 200 meters apart, and even that is not say lightening won't hit between the arresters.

      Sw Burger - 2015-02-01 09:23

      It will be too costly to provide every household with a lightning protection system. Also, on average, a home in Gauteng might get hit by a direct lightning stroke only once every 25 years, however, overvoltage surges on service lines might damage electrical equipment more often, sometimes even more than once a season. @ Daniel - Consult IEC 62305 Standards.

      Dawid Venter - 2015-02-02 07:32

      Seems this lightning is racist! Government must investigate where this lightning comes from! Like the minister said a while ago.

  • Grant Meyer - 2015-02-01 07:33

    The ANC will investigate

  • Johan Steyn - 2015-02-01 07:41

    Damm you Jan van Riebeeck

  • Selborne Collins - 2015-02-01 07:58

    apartheid's 2 blame

  • Isaiah Maunatlala - 2015-02-01 07:59

    at some kzn taxi ranks, they sell lightning's for as little as R15. Very evil that side

  • Jonathan Carl Hunter - 2015-02-01 08:12

    @Daniel koen , there is a s.a.b.s and international code to follow, a lightning protection system if done correctly can be effective to 98% . Please don't give people your idea of lightning protection systems without the correct research and experience ,it is very dangerous if done incorrectly .

  • Athi Nocha - 2015-02-01 08:13

    May their soul rest in peace.

  • Grant Wright - 2015-02-01 08:19

    The ANC will set up a task team to investigate why lighting bolts only hits blacks....

      carmen.tatumm - 2015-02-01 10:36


  • Vernon Moulton - 2015-02-01 08:31

    You must just remember that lightning is stated by a government employee once!!!

  • Vernon Moulton - 2015-02-01 08:34

    It was some woman called 'Dube' who stated that lightning only strike 'previously disadvantaged' people. She's never heard of a white person being struck by lightning

  • Barry Pointeer - 2015-02-01 08:52

    Apartheid s fault...bloody racist lightning

  • Tumelo Maripane - 2015-02-01 08:58

    Witches in KZN,if its not road accidents its lightning or izinkabi(hitmen). A cursed province indeed. Zuma's birthplace

      Thulani Thukzeni - 2015-02-01 10:21

      shame on you sir but it must not happen to you becouse its so sad to the family

  • Nonhlanhla Ngcobo - 2015-02-01 09:02

    Come on ppl this is not a joke ppl lost their life instead of posting condolences to their families we busy passing some idiotic jokes bcos we know that most of them they very low to read all our comments but when a well known person died we comment in a good man. May their souls rest in peace.

  • Andiswa Zahara Buhlungu - 2015-02-01 09:13

    Lol...! come on people

  • Ring Worm - 2015-02-01 09:19

    Absolutely shocking....

  • Alicia Motsepe - 2015-02-01 09:20

    May their souls RIP. :-( Heartfelt Condolences to family and loved ones.

  • Justice Jw Wisan - 2015-02-01 09:26

    I heard there's a competition on who will be last person standin in displaying their skills by killing others using lightning,there in kwazulu natal

  • nhlanhla.cele.7 - 2015-02-01 09:51

    Are you people seriously joking about dead people?

  • themba.mwezuka.9 - 2015-02-01 10:09

    To those family uThixo ukhona zithembe yena.

  • Daniel Spengler - 2015-02-01 10:18

    They were indoors. They still died. What is going on here? Tin shacks should act like Faraday cages. Brick and mortar houses should also keep people safe. Beds are usually kept on bricks and kept from contact with any walls.

      Anakin Stealthwalker - 2015-02-01 18:19

      Tin shacks, by design, are actually problematic: there is no tin on the floor which means there is a path of resistance directly on the floor, where potentials can develop into the kV range during a direct strike on the structure. The side and top panels will hence be part of an incomplete faraday cage. Any opening such as an open door will also cause potential fluctuations and cause side splashes into the dwelling itself. Wet mats and other uninsulated surfaces will suddenly become charged during a nearby or direct strike (V=IR) and with high currents such as lightning the potential differences over a few feet can exceed thousands of volts. The only real advice that one can give is to try and stay on dry non-conductive objects or materials and inside the structure as much as possible with all doors and windows firmly closed, and NOT to touch ANY metal objects such as stoves or other electrical appliances or even taps until the storm has passed. WET surfaces MUST be avoided as much as possible.

  • Mandiky Rofhi - 2015-02-01 10:45

    May their Soul R.I.P

  • Lynda Tyrer - 2015-02-01 11:46

    The storms were are now having seem to be more violent. Maybe they need to rethink their homes they seem to attract these massive strikes or is it that they have cleared all the trees in the area for fire wood so the natural conductors are gone ?

      Anakin Stealthwalker - 2015-02-01 17:47

      Hence the danger of lightning arresters too : our lightning arrestor, which is very well bonded to earth (less than 5ohms) with a very long sharp (aluminium) point on top (sometimes called finials) has been hit twice now directly since the beginning of Dec 2014, where it only got struck one time during the past 10 years. We were puzzled - there is nothing wrong with the arrester - it is actually working as it should and keeps the lightning away from two big trees here - but we have worked out that during violent thunderstorms that it can get hit directly. Not a big bolt as with a tree - since it IS discharging all the time, but because it can't discharge quickly enough (rate-of-discharge) so then it gets hit directly. So we HAVE to UNplug the mains to the dstv decoder, UNplug the co-axial cables from the dish (not located near arrester!) and keep other electronic appliances OFF during a thunderstorm here - it causes enough of a surge to kick off our earth-leakage breaker (2x now since Dec...) And direct strikes on arresters, even though not as powerful as strikes on trees, can still cause injury or death to people and animals closeby, besides destroying electronic equipment in it's path. [ From nearby strikes alone the lightning has taken out our landline phone 5x times during the past 3x months, even with 290v 3x prong gas arrestors on our line - it simply blows Telkom equipment further down the line - almost with every second thunderstorm now. ]

      Anakin Stealthwalker - 2015-02-01 18:00

      Trees are actually not very good conducters of electricity but have the inherent problem that they can accumulate an enormous potential charge which then has to be dissipated somehow: Our neighbours 2x houses up HAD 3x beautiful pine trees. TWO have been destroyed so far over a 5x year period with direct lightning strikes. With the last strike big branches fell on our direct neighbours home and caused structural damage while the property on which the pine tree was suffered electrical damage all over, from their pc that was plugged in to the gate motor and electric fences.

  • Craig Jenny Mackenzie - 2015-02-01 13:23

    Condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.

  • Kim Mosiane - 2015-02-01 13:58

    Poor reporting - details should have been given about the type of house and possible reasons why it wld have been a target for the lighting. More insight in your stories will help avoid false speculation and panic 24

  • Anakin Stealthwalker - 2015-02-01 17:19

    1. Definitions of LIGHTNING: "The occurrence of a natural electrical discharge of very short duration and high voltage between a cloud and the ground or within a cloud, accompanied by a bright flash and typically also thunder." 2. The govt. couldn't care LESS about lightning arresters for ordinary citizens: 3. The area conditions vary greatly with regards to population densities, tree distribution, type of soil (conductivity, Tel.& power lines) from one place to the next: 4. Installing a lightning arrestor close to a dwelling with a high metal content might actually ENDANGER the non-protected area right next to it, as there could be side flashes if the lightning does discharge ON top of the lightning arrester. Lightning is a complex phenomena and it's behaviour can be very unpredictable: 5. Where there is an installed lightning arrester there needs to be good insulation from earth to people and animals as well, a lightning arrester can protect a structure from been hit directly - however if the cloud charge is sufficient the lightning arrester will get a direct strike since it can't discharge quickly enough - hence the weird behaviour that it may discharge (and protect) the area with a trickle of electricity in a light storm but could get hit directly in a heavy thunderstorm (insufficient rate-of-discharge). 6. Do not touch any wet surfaces or conductive objects during a lightning storm. 7. CLOSE all doors and windows and try to stay on dry surfaces only.

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