iPod saves 14 year-old girl from lightning strike

Saved by my iPod: Girl survives lightning strike after wire diverts 300,000 volts

A teenage girl survived a terrifying lightning strike after she was saved by the wire of her iPod. [via dailymail]

Schoolgirl Sophie Frost and her boyfriend Mason Billington, both 14, stopped to shelter under a tree when a storm struck as they were walking near their homes.

Doctors believe Sophie survived the 300,000-volt surge only because it travelled through the gadget’s wire, diverting it away from her vital organs.

Sophie Frost

Scorched: Sophie Frost, 14, shows what happened to her clothes when she and her boyfriend Mason Billington were struck by lightning.

The teenager was taken to hospital and is recovering from burns to her chest and legs while Mason suffered damage to his eyes.

Both are expected to make a full recovery and Sophie may not even have a permanent scar.

Sophie Frost

Sophie, on her hospital bed, said she was saved by headphone wires diverting the bolt away from her body

She will be thankful she was wearing her iPod, which she had been given four days earlier as a gift from her grandmother.

Returning from hospital yesterday after three days of treatment, she said: ‘I’m just glad to be alive. I don’t remember a thing about what happened, but from what everyone tells me it’s a miracle I’m still here.

‘Everybody’s said the iPod must have diverted the lightning away from my body, which probably saved my life. I’ve got a few burns, but it’s all healing OK.’

Sophie and Mason were knocked unconscious by the lightning bolt while holding hands and taking shelter in a field on Monday night.

Mason came round and carried Sophie, who was scorched and unconscious, to a nearby road where he flagged down a female motorist who took the couple to Southend hospital.

Apple iPod

The iPod had been bought by Sophie's grandmother only a few days before the lightning strike

Sophie suffered burns to her body and legs, some temporary damage to her eyes and a perforated eardrum.

Dr Ian Cotton, a reader in electrical engineering at Manchester University, said Sophie could have been saved by her iPod.

‘If lightning hits a person it can do one of two things. It can go down the outside of the skin, which is more likely if someone is caught in a storm and their body is wet.

‘Or it can puncture the skin and go into the body. Potentially a metal wire, which is highly conductive could divert the electricity away from the heart and save someone’s life.’

Sophie was reunited with her boyfriend and family in Rayleigh, Essex, yesterday after being transferred to the Broomfield Hospital for burns treatment.

She said Mason, whose eyesight is now back to normal, was a hero. ‘My mum thinks he’s wonderful,’ she added.

Freak lightning strike puts gaping hole through roof

A bolt of lightning hit a home in Cheshire and left a gaping hole in its roof.

Lorraine and Luciano Coppola's home burst into flames after the strike and the remains of a bed and chest of drawers can be seen from above the building.

Enlarge Freak lightning strike

Bolt from the blue: A freak lightning strike put a gaping hole in the roof of this home in Altincham, Cheshire

Thirty firefighters rushed to the luxury townhouse,in Bowdon, Altrincham, at 10pm on Thursday night, and battled for hours to contain the blaze. Eleven nearby homes had to be evacuated.

Fire chief Nigel Perkins said it was the first time in 23 years he'd seen a house struck by lightning.

Mrs Coppola, 62, a mother-of-three, was alone in the house at the time.

She said: 'There was a very loud bang, the lights went out and I thought there'd been a power cut. I thought lightning must have hit somewhere.

'I went to check with my neighbour John and then from around the back I could see smoke coming from the back bedroom.'

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