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03rd Oct 2023

Boy, 13, struck by lightning while playing football now fighting for his life

Steve Hopkins

The boy is in a critical condition

A teenager is fighting for his life in hospital after he was struck by lightning during a football match along with a man in his 50s.

The boy, 13, and the man, 52, were hit during the match at The Sele School in Hertford on Monday afternoon.

The boy, who was from an outside school, was playing in a district tournament hosted at the school when a bolt struck both him and the man. Neither victim has been named.

A spokesperson for the East of England Ambulance Service confirmed a child had been taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in a “critical condition” and the man to Princess Alexandra hospital “for further care.”

The school’s head teacher, Chris Quach, posted on Facebook on Monday evening to say the lightning strike “affected several people”.

“The entire staff of The Sele School, the wider school community and I would like to thank the emergency services, the parents and staff who were attending the match and were so helpful, and our first aiders who did an amazing job while waiting for the emergency services to respond,” he said.

“Our good wishes and thoughts are with the people who were injured.”

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire Police confirmed a 13-year-old and 52-year-old were involved in the weather incident.

The force said they were called to the school around 5.20pm “to assist the ambulance service after two people were apparently hit by lightning at a site on Welwyn Road in Hertford”.

The force said the victims were assessed by paramedics at the scene, with the boy “in a serious condition and the man was stable.”

Millions across the UK were blighted by storms on Monday evening. One lightning bolt struck and detonated a gas silo in Oxfordshire, creating a huge fireball seen across multiple counties, The Mirror reported.

The Met Office has weather warnings in place for much of the week before warm weather is pulled in from the south this weekend.

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