Lightning strikes Swiss rescue team responding to lightning strike

Lightning strikes Swiss rescue team responding to lightning strike

It's often said that "lightning never strikes twice," with the phenomenon placed alongside five-leaf clovers, satisfactory on the first attempt tax returns and traffic-free trips through the Gotthard as things that rarely - if ever - happen. However, the emergency services in Switzerland may feel like the saying is in need of an update after two groups of people were struck by lightning in the same place on the same morning in Canton Fribourg.

Same spot in Switzerland struck by lightning... twice 

According to a report given to the Swiss media, the rare event occurred during a rescue operation in Ménières, Canton Fribourg at 8.30am on July 21. That morning, the police and air rescue services were alerted to an incident where a 51-year-old man and 16-year-old boy had been struck by lightning while working in a nearby field, with the older man being seriously injured by the strike.

The medical emergency led to the deployment of Rega, the police and an ambulance, which all made their way to the scene. However, once rescue workers reached the incident, the weather decided that it was the right time to strike the same spot again, sending a bolt of lightning straight down as operators started to help the two injured people. The report said that the bolt managed to hit a police officer and a Rega pilot.

Swiss police officer and Rega pilot unharmed

Luckily, the officer and the pilot were unharmed by the second lightning strike. The two injured people were then transported to hospital by ambulance, where they were given treatment.

Interestingly, according to Suva - the national provider of accident insurance - while it is extremely rare, a number of people are struck by lightning every year; around 123 people have been struck in Swiss cities and cantons between 2001 and 2020, equating to around six a year.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

Read more



Leave a comment