A tragic incident occurred on Sunday, February 11, 2024, when a 34-year-old footballer from Subang, Indonesia, was struck by lightning and killed during a friendly match between 2 FLO FC Bandung and FBI Subang. The shocking event, which was captured on video and went viral on social media, showed the player walking casually on the field when he was suddenly hit by a bolt of lightning and collapsed on the ground. The other players and spectators were stunned and horrified by the unexpected occurrence.
The Victim Was Rushed to Hospital But Could Not Be Saved
According to local media reports, the victim, who was identified as Septian Raharaj, was still breathing after the lightning strike and was immediately taken to a nearby hospital by his teammates and the match officials. However, he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead upon arrival. The cause of death was reported to be cardiac arrest due to the electric shock. The untimely and devastating loss of the footballer has left his family, friends, and teammates in a state of grief and mourning.
The Weather Was Cloudy But There Was No Rain or Thunderstorm
The incident took place at the Siliwangi Stadium in Bandung, West Java, where the two amateur teams were playing a friendly match. The weather was cloudy that day, but there was no rain or thunderstorm in the area. The lightning strike was apparently a freak occurrence that caught everyone off guard. The video of the incident, which was shared by several users on X and other platforms, showed the player walking near the center circle of the pitch when a bright flash of lightning hit him and he fell down motionless. The referee immediately blew the whistle and stopped the game, while the other players rushed to check on him and call for help.
The Incident Is the Second of Its Kind in Indonesia in the Last 12 Months
The tragic incident is the second of its kind in Indonesia in the last 12 months, where a footballer has been struck by lightning during a match. In 2023, a young football player from Bojonegoro, East Java, was also hit by lightning during the Soeratin U-13 Cup. The player, who suffered a cardiac arrest, was quickly taken off the field and brought to the Ibnu Sina Hospital in Bojonegoro for medical treatment. Fortunately, he was successfully revived and regained consciousness after about 20 minutes.
Lightning Strikes Are a Rare But Deadly Hazard for Footballers
Lightning strikes are a rare but deadly hazard for footballers and other outdoor sports enthusiasts, especially in regions where thunderstorms are frequent and unpredictable. According to the World Health Organization, lightning kills about 6,000 people every year worldwide, and injures many more. Most of the victims are from developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, where there is a lack of awareness and protection measures against lightning. Footballers are particularly vulnerable to lightning strikes, as they are often exposed to open fields with metal objects such as goalposts, fences, and cleats, which can attract and conduct electricity.
Some of the precautions that footballers and other outdoor athletes can take to reduce the risk of lightning strikes are:
- Check the weather forecast before going out to play and avoid playing in stormy conditions.
- Seek shelter indoors or in a car if you hear thunder or see lightning, and stay there until 30 minutes after the last thunderclap.
- If you are caught outside in a thunderstorm, avoid standing near tall objects, metal structures, or bodies of water, and crouch down in a low-lying area with your feet together and your head down.
- If someone is struck by lightning, call for emergency help and perform CPR if needed, as lightning can cause cardiac arrest and respiratory failure.