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Lightning strike walker 'improving'

Published 06/07/2015

One of the walkers seriously injured in a lightning strike in Brecon Beacons is showing signs of improvement
One of the walkers seriously injured in a lightning strike in Brecon Beacons is showing signs of improvement

A walker seriously injured in a mountain top lightning strike, which killed two others, is showing signs of improvement, police have said.

A major rescue operation was mounted on Sunday following two separate strikes which battered the Brecon Beacons in south Wales.

Two men - believed to be from England - died, while two others were taken to hospital.

Dyfed Powys Police said it was continuing to investigate the circumstances of the incident.

A force spokeswoman added: "A man in a serious condition in hospital, following simultaneous incidents in the Brecon Beacons, has now improved and he is recovering.

"Officers are continuing to liaise with the next of kin of the deceased men and enquiries are ongoing.

"All four men involved were believed to be from England. HM Coroner has been informed."

Mark Jones, of the Brecon Beacons Mountain Rescue Team, described the lighting strike as a freak accident - and something he could not ever recall having been called out to in 30 years of service.

He added it was lucky that a doctor was able to reach one of the casualties on Corn Du within about 25 minutes, because his team was already out on the slopes on a training exercise.

Outdoors group Ramblers Cymru said while incidents involving thunder and lightning were rare, electrical storms should not be taken lightly when out walking.

The organisation's delivery officer Elly Hannigan Popp, said: "We'd advise everyone to check the weather forecast before starting a walk, and if you do find yourself in a thunder and lightning storm, try to follow some safety tips.

"If you hear thunder, see lightning or if your hair stands on end, postpone activities even if the sky looks blue and clear. Lightning will strike as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall.

"Lightning can strike the same place repeatedly - especially tall, pointed, isolated objects - so avoid being the tallest point.

"If there is no shelter you should keep moving. And if you become the tallest object, crouch in the open twice as far away from the nearest pointed object as it is tall.

"Make yourself as small as possible, stay on your toes and keep your heels together as it will allow electricity to go up one foot, through the heels and back into the ground through the other."

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