British Columbia

Victoria man injured in indirect lightning strike

A Victoria man was injured by an indirect lightning strike Tuesday in what was described as a freak event.

'We're assuming that the lightning ... went up one leg, through the body and down the other'

A lightning strike that hit a tree in View Royal near Victoria ended up striking a man who was working nearby. (Shutterstock/Denis Rozhnovsky)

A Victoria man was injured by an indirect lightning strike Tuesday in what was described as a freak event. 

At around 9:30 a.m. PT, lightning hit a tree in an RV park in the town of View Royal.  At the the time, the man was just feet away, delivering propane to one of the units. 

"When the lightning bolt hit the tree, it energized the ground around the tree," said View Royal acting fire chief Rob Marshall.

"The gentleman had work boots on — steel shanks and steel toed — so we're assuming that the lightning connected to the steel and went up one leg, through the body and down the other leg. There were no exit or entry wounds."

Extreme pain, possible organ damage

The man was conscious and talking but in an extreme amount of pain when the fire department arrived on scene, said Marshall. He was taken to nearby Victoria General by ambulance.

"With electricity [injuries are] hard to tell because you don't know what it's done internally to the body. Quite often, we see organ damage," said Marshall. 

The View Royal fire hall is located across the highway from the RV Park which meant first responders arrived on scene just minutes after the strike.

"The response ... couldn't have been any quicker," said Marshall. "We actually thought our fire hall had been struck. Our crews were outside checking over the building, because it was such a large crack."

"It's one of those freak cases," he said.  "Getting lightning in Victoria is very rare, let alone people getting struck."

With files from Emily Brass

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