A weather anchorman in northeastern China was hit by what appeared to be lightning sparks while filming during a thunderstorm on Monday.
The anchor, Lu Xiaodong, had his live broadcast on the stormy weather in Dalian, Liaoning province, interrupted after a spark struck his hand and umbrella that morning, local news network Dalian TV reported.
Lu was reporting under his green umbrella when a purple streak zigzagged across the sky and a crackling sound was heard, video footage showed.
Lu immediately cried out and dropped the umbrella he was holding.
At the time of the incident at 9am, the city was experiencing a thunderstorm and foggy conditions, with visibility down to just 2km. The temperature was 12 degrees Celsius.
In a subsequent interview with Dalian TV, Lu said he saw yellow sparks flying from his hand as well as from his cameraman’s umbrella frame and handle.
His hand felt like it had been hit by an electric current that travelled up to his forearm, he said.
“My hand was numb, and I could see on the back of my hand and my umbrella stick [giving off] yellow electric current-like [sparks],” Lu said.
“The video didn’t capture the sparks, probably because the electric current was relatively small. Although if the video really did capture the current hitting my hand, then I probably wouldn’t be standing here giving this interview.”
Internet users commended Lu for braving the storm to report the weather. Some also advised caution while reporting during thunderstorms.
“It’s dangerous, young man. Next time, pay attention to safety. If your mother saw this, she would probably faint,” one internet user wrote.
“Lightning won’t avoid striking you just because you’re the weather anchor,” another said.
People are advised to avoid metal objects when outdoors during stormy weather, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s website. It noted that umbrellas can “increase your chances of being struck by lightning if it makes you the tallest object in the area”.