Tragic groom killed by lightning strike while posing for pre-wedding pics

A wedding celebration turned to tragedy on Wednesday (August 24) when a man posing for pre-wedding photos with his fiancée at a popular Chinese landmark was struck by lightning, dying instantly.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Lijiang, Yunnan province, is famous for its dramatic scenery. The victim, named in local reports as Ruan, was taking part in a photo-shoot at Spruce Meadow, a picturesque spot famed for its rolling grasslands and snow-capped mountain backdrop.

Even though the weather was poor, the couple decided to carry on with the photographs but just after 1:30pm on Wednesday, Ruan was struck by a bolt of lightning.

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People standing quite close to Ruan remained unharmed.

Local emergency services soon arrived at the scene and took Ruan, where it was confirmed that he had died.

The local weather authority had issued a thunder and lightning yellow alert, the third highest under China’s four-tier warning system, about 30 minutes before the tragic incident.

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Around 1200 people die from lightning strikes every year. In the first half of 2007, 499 people were killed by lightning – nearly 200 more than the same period in 2006 – and Zheng Guoguang, head of the China Meteorological Administration, said climate change was increasing the likelihood of extreme weather.

The chance of being struck by lightning is less than one in a million, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you do find yourself outdoors during a thunderstorm, you should avoid open fields, and especially the tops of a hills. Likewise, you should stay away from tall, isolated objects like trees or phone masts, and any bodies of water.

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Your best policy, though, is to get indoors.

The tell-tale signs of an imminent lightning strike are a tingling sensation on the skin, and your hair standing on end. You might also notice a quest electrical buzzing sound or even a subtle blue glow coming from metal objects.

If you think you’re in the firing line, it might seem natural to lie flat on the ground. That’s actually not the best move. Energy from a lightning bolt can travel though the earth – and if your whole body’s touching the ground over a wide area.

Instead, crouch down and tuck your head between your knees – protecting your brain. You should also cover your ears – lightning strikes can be loud!

Lastly, if you see someone that you think is the victim of a lightning strike don’t move them, but get them help immediately.


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