The plane touched down in the normal manner and passengers departed as they usually do – until a bolt of lightning struck.
The lightning bolt struck down an American Airlines passenger as she departed a flight at South Carolina’s Columbia Metropolitan Airport over the weekend. It also hurt another passenger.
The unidentified woman who was struck was rushed to hospital and was still there yesterday, an airline spokeswoman confirmed to USA Today.
Columbia airport spokeswoman Kaela Harmon called it a freak accident and told The State newspaper of Columbia “It is truly the most random thing I have ever heard.”
The aircraft that operated American Flight 5137 was a Bombardier CRJ-900 regional jet.
There’s an ominous twist to the tale because the flight was heading to Charlotte and diverted to Columbia because of bad weather.
An individual lightning bolt can pack several hundred million volts at 10,000 amperes, one trillion watts, briefly burning up more electrical power than is being used in the entire United States.
“Monsters of one billion volts and over 100,000 amperes are not unknown,” according to one text on the subject.
American Airlines said: “During the deplaning process, two passengers were injured and transported to a local hospital to receive medical attention. The flight departed Hartford at 2.50pm with 75 passengers and four crewmembers. We are assisting the passengers and families involved with this incident.”
Written by Peter Needham