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16th Jun 2023

Offaly woman hit by lightning while standing in her kitchen

Simon Kelly

She was saved by a very particular item of clothing.

A woman in Offaly is “lucky to be alive” after she was struck by lightning while standing in her kitchen on Tuesday.

Caroline Blake was standing in her kitchen when lightening struck a tap outside the house which caused an “explosion.”

“As I was putting the spoon down into the sink (when) sparks came out of it, there was a massive explosion in the kitchen and the smell of burning,” Caroline told RTÉ Radio 1. “The bang was so loud, it was like an explosion.

“It kind of set me back a bit on my feet and I became a bit disoriented and didn’t know what was happening. I could hear all this, you know, like electricity. I could hear the buzzing of all this electricity.

“And next thing it hit my hand as I was putting the spoon back down into the sink, and after then it just stopped after a few seconds. It just seemed to go on forever,” she continued. “It’s so hard to explain how quickly it happened and how quickly kind of ended.”

Woman’s life saved by her rubber shoes.

Luckily there was one item of clothing that saved the woman’s life – her rubber-soled shoes.

“I had my runners on, so I’d say that’s what saved me, and the doctor even told me that’s what would save you. I’m so happy.”

After the incident, Caroline’s daughter arrived and after noticing her hands and face were red, brought her straight to the GP.

She was then sent to Tullamore Hospital where she was told the strike could have caused a heart attack.

“They kept me in for a few hours and everything was OK, and they gave me a few tablets. I just had a bad headache,” Ms Blake said.

“I was so glad to get home and I feel like I have a hangover, that’s the only way I can explain it and I have a sore eye – it’s just running, it’s like a flash burn in the eye.”

The story coincides with Met Éireann issuing another Status Yellow thunderstorm warning for 13 counties.

The latest alert will take effect between 3pm to 9pm on Thursday (15 June).

It applies to the province of Connacht, as well as the counties Clare, Donegal, Laois, Limerick, Longford, Offaly, Tipperary and Westmeath.


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