Hotspots and Incidents » Disasters, catastrophes
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Lightning strikes a group of 20 Russian tourists, killing two

The tourists were killed in a canoe, as they were paddling across the Volga River

A flash of lightning killed two people, supervisors of a tourist group, and seriously injured a 13-year-old girl in the Volgograd region of Russia yesterday. The girl was hospitalized in severe condition. A spokesman for the press service of the local EMERCOM, Oleg Grekov, told RBK news agency that a group of 20 tourists, consisting of two adults and 18 children – presumably ninth and tenth graders – set off for a hike on June 24th, 2005. The tourists were supposed to paddle across the Volga River in canoes. The lightning struck one of the canoes, killing the 51-year-old supervisor of the children's tourist group and his 47-year-old assistant. The lightning severely injured a 13-year-old girl, who was also staying in the canoe.

Psychologists currently render assistance to the group of teenagers, who eyewitnessed such a terrible accident.

Meanwhile, a family couple residing in the Stavropol region in Russia's south was lucky to stay alive after a ball lightning exploded in their house. Mikhail Krivolapov said that he had been dreaming to see the ball lightning since his early childhood. “It was a very stormy night. It was poring rain and the wind was raging like in a Hollywood blockbuster. We unplugged all electric appliances in the house and went to bed. We were falling asleep, when something blazed up,” the man said.
 
”The blinding light that we saw in the house looked like the light of a welding blowpipe. It all happened in a second. We could hear the sound of exploding petards, and then it all went quiet. We went to the living room and saw a cloud of smoke. The smell of burning was so heavy in there. The lighting burnt the music center unit, the TV set and the VCR. My guitar and accordion were all ruined, not to mention the broken windowpanes. The explosion of the ball lightning split a wooden bed into two and cast it some 1.5 meters away from the wall,” Mikhail Krivolapov said.

The family couple was lucky to stay alive after such an unusual night visit.

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