Tropical heat, which hit the town of Neftekamsk, the Bashkortostan Republic, resulted in the death of three young people. However, it was not the heat, but a thunderstorm, that killed them. Two teen boys and a teenage girl were killed by lightning when they were resting on a local beach.
The incident took place in the afternoon on the beach located on the banks of the Kama River, where many residents of Neftekamsk spend their free time in hot weather.
The storm began when black clouds suddenly covered the sky and a very strong cold wind arose. People started to grab their beach towels and bags and run away. A 16-year-old girl was talking over her mobile phone when the lightning struck. The girl was killed instantly, Interfax said.
Two other people were found dead on the beach after the storm. Two boys - 14 and 15 years of age – were killed by lighting too.
Six other people were hospitalized with heart rhythm disturbance and high blood pressure.
Experts said that the number of lightning-caused injuries on the beach of Neftekasmk was so high because of the wet sand, on which the people were resting. It is an open secret that water is the best conductor of electric current. Since the beach found itself in the center of the storm, the cell phone, which the young girl was using, attracted the lighting. The girl was standing on the wet sand and thus had no chance to survive the attack.
Unfortunately, lethal outcomes of lightning attacks have become more frequent recently. They all happen because of people’s carelessness. Specialists recommend not to take shelter underneath trees, which lightning strikes in most of cases. Oak tree is especially dangerous at this point. This tree has a very deep root system, which may often reach ground waters.
One has to try to stay away from electric wires, antennas, windows, wet walls and high trees during a thunderstorm. Turn your TV and radio off, do not use electric appliances and cell phones. These precautions are extremely important for those who find themselves in the middle of a thunderstorm during a trip out of town.
It is also dangerous to stay near water during a storm. Try to avoid hills, open spaces and large objects made of metal. If there is no shelter around, it would be best to simply lie down on the ground and stay still.
If a storm catches you while driving, do not go out of your car. Close all windows, lower the antenna, turn the radio off, kill the engine and just wait. Ball lightning is known for its ability to fly into open windows and doors.