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  • Free State farmer struck and killed by lightning in veld


    Police said the 68-year-old Free State farmer went to the veld to collect his sheep and to close the gates when he was struck and killed by lightning. 


    Police spokesperson Captain Stephen Thakeng said it happened on Thursday evening around 21:00 on a farm in Bultfontein

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    “The 68-year-old farmer went to the veld to collect his sheep and to close the gates. The wife, who was at the farmhouse, got worried when her husband took a long time to return.” 

    The wife called their neighbour for assistance. 

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    “Their neighbour came with his children to look for the farmer. After a long search, he was found lying in the veld, still alive but unconscious.

    “They took him to the hospital, and on their way, they met with Emergency Medical Personnel, and the farmer was declared dead.” 

    Thakeng said it is suspected that he was struck by a lightning. 

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    A case of Inquest has been registered for further investigation.

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    Although no place outside is safe during a thunderstorm, you can minimize your risk by assessing the lightning threat early and taking appropriate actions. The best defense is to avoid lightning. Here are some outdoor safety tips that can help you avoid being struck.

    • Be aware.
    • Check the weather forecast before participating in outdoor activities. If the forecast calls for thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity, or make sure suitable safe shelter is readily available.
    • Go indoors.
    • Remember the phrase, “When thunder roars, go indoors.” Find a safe, enclosed shelter when you hear thunder. Safe shelters include homes, offices, shopping centers, and hard-top vehicles with the windows rolled up.
    • Seek shelter immediately, even if caught out in the open.
    • If you are caught in an open area, act quickly to find shelter. The most important action is to remove yourself from danger. Crouching or getting low to the ground can reduce your chances of being struck, but it does not remove you from danger.
    • If you are caught outside with no safe shelter nearby, the following actions might reduce your risk of being struck by lightning:
      • Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges, or peaks.
      • Never lie flat on the ground. Crouch down in a ball-like position with your head tucked and hands over your ears so that you are down low with minimal contact with the ground.
      • Never shelter under an isolated tree. If you are in a forest, a shelter near lower trees.
      • Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter.
      • Immediately get out of and away from ponds, lakes, and other bodies of water.
      • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (such as barbed wire fences, power lines, or windmills).
    • Separate from others.
    • If you are in a group during a thunderstorm, separate from each other. This will reduce the number of injuries if lightning strikes the ground.
    • If you are out in the open water and a storm rolls in, return to shore immediately.
    • If you are on a boat in open water when a thunderstorm rolls in, return to shore immediately and seek shelter. If you are unable to return to shore, boats with cabins offer some protection. If caught in a storm in a small boat with no cabin, drop anchor and get as low as possible.
    • Don’t stay in open vehicles.
    • During a thunderstorm, avoid open vehicles such as convertibles, motorcycles, and golf carts.
    • Don’t stay in open structures.
    • Avoid open structures such as porches, gazebos, baseball dugouts, and sports arenas. These structures won’t protect you from lightning.
    • Avoid open spaces.
    • Stay away from open spaces such as golf courses, parks, playgrounds, ponds, lakes, swimming pools, and beaches. Seek shelter immediately.
    • Don’t stay near tall structures.
    • Stay away from tall structures, such as telephone poles and trees; lightning tends to strike the tallest object around.

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Afrii Diaspora Dialogue

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