Five members of the same family were hit by the same lightning bolt during a freak storm in the Saxon region of Germany.
The adults were talking outside as the children played and then it suddenly began to rain, hairdresser Ricarda recalled. As the family started collecting toys to bring inside, they heard an enormous bang. Up until then, she said, there had been no thunder or lightning.
Ricarda described the moment she saw a furrow open up in the grass out of nowhere and felt a 'tingling sensation from head to foot'.
Nine-year-old Elias collapsed, unconscious, and had to be resuscitated by his father and grandfather before an ambulance arrived. He is still in intensive care.
Ricarda described the aftermath of the strike as 'chaos' as the family struggled to comprehend what had happened. "We were acting on autopilot," she said.
She said her sister-in-law Judith and grandmother Ilona were also admitted to hospital with head injuries sustained in the fall. The rest of the family suffered only minor injuries.
Her own son, Cedrick, did not require treatment but has been complaining of headaches since the lightening blast.
Meteorologist Helge Tuschy explained that the furrow seen by Ricarda an instant before the family were hit by the lightning could have been the result of the bolt coming into contact with an underground cable or tree root.
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