Thu, 04 Jun 2020

Woman killed by freak lightning bolt while hiking

11 Jun 2019, 00:41 GMT+10

A Scottish woman died tragically after being struck by lightning while hill walking with friends.

Isobel Bytautas (55) was hiking in a ridge on mountains in Glencoe, Scotland, when she and another member of the group were struck by a single lightning bolt on Saturday 8 June, Independent reports.

According to Scottish police, the two hikers were airlifted to a hospital in Fort William, but Isobel later succumbed to her injuries. The other walker is reportedly in a stable condition.

Leader of the Glencoe mountain rescue team Andy Nelson said the hikers were very "unlucky".

"Most were relatively unscathed," Nelson revealed.

"The deceased was incredibly unlucky. The group were just in the wrong place at the wrong time," he added.

"It was a short-lived thunderstorm, it lasted about 20 minutes. It was a very heavy sky, there was a flash and then the rumble. We saw a lightning flash.

"The party got straight through to raise the alarm by mobile phone. I can't recall another death in Scotland's mountains caused by lightning.

"It is common in the Alps, and a known risk, but we don't usually get the weather conditions in Scotland on the hills."

Bytautas' husband, Andrew, a stonemason, and their daughter Ashley, is being comforted by close friends a family, Sky News reports.

Ashley took to Facebook to pay tribute to her mom.

"My mom died instantly, a freak one in a million accident you never think is possible," she wrote.

"I can't imagine life without her, I'm lost," she added. "I can't process it. It doesn't seem real. I'm broken."

Inspector Isla Campbell from Police Scotland thanked rescue workers for their prompt response, The Guardian reports.

"We're grateful for the prompt and professional response from partner agencies to this tragic incident and offer our condolences to the family," she said.

Sources: Independent, Sky News, The Guardian

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