Fri | May 29, 2020

Let’s learn from lightning strikes

Published:Friday | September 20, 2019 | 12:25 AM


I believe that the recent lightning strike which harmed two footballers on the field at Stadium East in Kingston provides very interesting and significant circumstances that our scientists – particularly at The University of the West Indies and the University of Technology, and even scientists from abroad – should research and publish, or at least do a case study.

It is said that lightning will make contact with the tallest conductor available in the area where it strikes. It would be an instructive and interesting scientific exercise to verify if the footballers struck by lightning in the game were the tallest on the field, or had anything else about them that were different – except for their physical locations at the time – based on which it may be postulated as to why those two and not any other on the field, were struck by lightning, and to determine if there is more that individuals can do to protect themselves from lightning strikes.

Probably – as in the case with buildings – playing fields should be provided with tall lightning rods strategically located to protect persons on these fields from lightning strikes.

Something good may come from this tragedy.