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Couple on lightning strike – ‘it sounded like a bomb explosion’

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Paul Singh by the chimney of his house which was cracked when it was hit by lightning. The fire service covered the chimney with a tarpaulin. (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Lorna Singh looks over the damage caused by a lightning strike to her home in Sandys (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
The ceiling was blown out when a lighting strike caused internal and external damage to the home of Paul and Lorna Singh (Photograph supplied)
Lorna and Paul Singh were lucky to escape injury after their home was struck by lightning (Photograph supplied)

A wife and husband say they are lucky to be alive after lightning hit their house blowing out a ceiling, cracking a chimney, smashing a glass fire guard and causing electrical explosions.

Lorna and Paul Singh were in their house on Rockywold Drive in Sandys sheltering from thunder, lightning and a torrential downpour last Thursday when the lightning bolt hit.

Ms Singh told The Royal Gazette: “I was in the kitchen preparing a salad and it sounded like a bomb explosion.

“My husband said ‘did you hear that!’ I went to look up my hallway and saw grey smoke, the ceiling down and wires coming out. If we had been walking along the hallway we would have been electrocuted – you might have seen me at Pearman Funeral Home.

“It was a shock. We are okay, we are not injured but it is a shock and it was traumatic.”

Neither Ms Singh, 84, or her husband, 71, were injured.

After the strike, the couple immediately called 911 and were told to leave the building, despite the torrential rain, as quickly as possible. The Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service attended the scene.

Ms Singh said it appears that the lightning bolt went down the chimney causing damage to the exterior of the chimney and smashing the glass fire place guard inside the house.

The button for the doorbell at the front door had blown about 30 feet away from the house. All the power was knocked out until it was partially fixed the following day. However, the oven, computer, televisions and the internet router were among other items damaged and will need to be replaced.

The couple were later able to return to the house, accessing their bedroom from a porch to avoid the debris.

“When it happened I thought, what on earth is it?” Ms Singh said.

“I knew it was from the thunder storm but didn’t realise it was my house until I went to the hallway. That doesn’t happen that often – the building workers said they have never seen such damage inside of a house from a lightning strike in Bermuda.”

Ms Singh said that cracks created by the strike have widened so the full extent of the damage remains unknown.

A structural engineer is due to visit the property to assess the damage and what needs to be done.

The couple have house and contents insurance coverage.

Construction workers say they will not be able to start work for a couple of weeks so Ms Singh and her husband are unsure whether they will be able to remain in the house.

Ms Singh added: “We are coping we are just in shock. It is one of those things you don’t think will happen but you never know what’s around the corner.

“We just have to take one day at a time – it will take time to get things back in order and to adjust to the situation.

“We are thankful we were not injured.”

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Published August 19, 2021 at 5:38 pm (Updated August 19, 2021 at 5:39 pm)

Couple on lightning strike – ‘it sounded like a bomb explosion’

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