Lightning strike kills three men sheltering under tree

THREE men were killed by lightning while standing under a tree to escape a heavy downpour on Sunday night.

The three men, believed to be Mozambique nationals aged between 27 to 35, had rented rooms at Zwelitsha Trust near White River and were returning home when they were struck down at about 7pm.

KaNyamazane police spokesperson Inspector Andries Sikwambana told Sowetan yesterday that there had been heavy rains accompanied by powerful thunder in the area.

Struck simultaneously

"The three men were apparently coming from work when they were struck by lightning.

"They ran towards a big tree in an apparent attempt to shield themselves from the heavy rain.

"It was hardly a few minutes later when lightning struck all of them simultaneously," Sikwambana said.

"They died on the spot and members of the community who later discovered them called us to the scene."

He said the identities of the men would be revealed after the police had tracked down their families - believed to be living in Mozambique.

Sikwambana warned that it was extremely dangerous to stand under a tree when there was lightning because trees were powerful conductors of electricity.