Fri | Dec 8, 2023

Lightning strike sends seven to hospital during d’Cup match

Published:Wednesday | September 20, 2023 | 12:11 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer

PANDEMONIUM ERUPTED after 25 minutes into the ISSA/WATA daCosta Cup encounter between hosts Charlemont High School and Dinthill Technical after a lightning strike sent some players and an official to the turf yesterday.

In the aftermath, some six players, two from Charlemont, four from Dinthill Technical and an assistant referee were rushed to the Linstead Hospital where The Gleaner understands that two of the Dinthill players were put on oxygen along with the official who was said to be foaming at the mouth at the match venue.

A look of horror could be seen on the faces of everyone on the scene, described as frightening, following the sudden lightning strike.

Steve Thomas, one of the officials on the Dinthill Technical staff, tried to explain what transpired during the ordeal.

“All I heard was a big noise with a bright light which was like fire and then I saw the youths dem fall to the ground along with the assistant referee,” said Thomas.

Those scenes were confirmed by Dinthill Technical team manager Everton Burke, who spoke from the Linstead Hospital where the rest of the team and school officials converged to get word on the state of the affected players and the official.

Burke confirmed that the official was taken to the hospital by the police while the players were taken by the school bus.

Burke further described that there was no rain at the time of the incident. However, there was rain prior to the encounter.

“I am shaken by this and still am. I just want the best for the players and the official because this is really a bad experience for all of us,” said Burke.

This is not the first time lightning has intervened during schoolboy football matches. Back in 2019, a bolt of lightning struck players in the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup football match between Wolmer’s Boys’ School and Jamaica College (JC) at the Stadium East field, resulting in the match being called off.