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Jogger fatally struck by lightning in western Taiwan

Jogger was soaking wet while running on top of levee when struck by lightning

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Jogger's shoe at scene of lightning strike. (Taiwan News, reader's photo)

Jogger's shoe at scene of lightning strike. (Taiwan News, reader's photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A man was fatally struck by lightning on Monday evening (July 13) while he was jogging on a levee walkway in Miaoli City.

At 6:25 p.m. on Monday, a man surnamed Liu (劉) was jogging on a raised embankment across from National Miaoli Agricultural and Industrial Vocational High School during a thunderstorm, when he was struck by lightning. A bystander at the scene saw Liu collapse after being struck and immediately alerted authorities.

When paramedics arrived at the scene, they found Liu lying unconscious on the ground with bruises on his abdomen and burns to his ears and right shin, where the lightning bolt appeared to exit and sent his shoe flying, reported ETtoday. Such was the force of the lightning that it shattered the concrete into rubble at the spot where Liu had been jogging.

Jogger fatally struck by lightning in western Taiwan
Scene of lightning strike. (Taiwan News, reader's photo)

Liu did not have have any vital signs and paramedics rushed him to Miaoli General Hospital. Miraculously, doctors were able to resuscitate Liu and placed him in the intensive care unit for observation, reported BCC.

However, Liu's condition deteriorated further and he was declared dead at 1 a.m. on Wednesday morning (July 14), according to TVBS.

Expert advice suggests that people can be struck by lightning if they are at the highest point in an open area. In this case, the incident occurred atop a 3-meter-high levee trail, some distance away from any trees.

Jogger fatally struck by lightning in western Taiwan
The CWB at 6 p.m. on July 13 reported a large number of lightning strikes in Miaoli. (CWB map)

Miaoli County Fire Department officials said the man was wet and his soaked shoes could not serve as insulators. Survival from a lightning strike depends on both the speed of medical treatment and the amount of electrical current moving through the body.

The average household electrical outlet provides 110 volts, while high-voltage power lines carry 100,000 volts. Lasting only .01 to 0.01 seconds, lightning strikes can generate up to 10 million volts of electricity.

The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) detected a large number of lightning strikes in Miaoli County at 6 p.m. that evening. In general, strong convection currents can lead to thunderstorms and the CWB advises people to exercise caution when engaging in outdoor activities if thunderstorms appear to be forming.

Jogger fatally struck by lightning in western Taiwan
Paramedics give Liu CPR. (Taiwan News, reader's photo)