A young man was struck to death by lightning in Malindi, Kilifi County after taking shelter under a mango tree on a rainy day.
It happened on Monday 13 afternoon at Roka bus stage.
Kelyson Kitsau Mapinga, 24, left home in Kijiwe Tanga at around 12 noon and boarded a Matatu for Roka to visit his elder brother who had just arrived from Nairobi with his wife and a newborn child.
According to a close family source, he alighted at the bus stage at around 1 pm and sought shelter under a mango tree since it was raining heavily.
It was under the tree when lightning struck killing him on the spot.
Witnesses say the deceased fell facing down after being struck by lightning.
A crowd built-up and one of the bodaboda operators called Mapinga’s father to inform him of the tragedy.
His body was then taken to Kilifi County Hospital Mortuary.
Nuru Kibirige, the family source, told Standard Digital that there was a deep cut on his chin which made them suspect he was answering a phone call.
“When we viewed his body at the mortuary, there was a lession of about two millimetres on his chin. Seemingly he was answering a phone call when he was struck by the lightning,” said Nuru.
Kibirige said there was an electric pole and a transformer few metres from where Mapinga was taking shelter.
The source further says the middle cable was physically damaged.
It is a proven fact that standing under a tree is fatal during a storm since.
When raining, the bark of a tree is mostly wet and since water is a better conductor of electricity than wood, lightning that has struck a tree travels beneath the bark to the ground.
A weather site writes; “Electricity seeks the path of least resistance, and the moisture (sap and water) inside a tree is a much better conductor than air. The result: a tree provides a preferred path for lightning to reach the ground.”
Mapinga’s body is currently at the Kilifi County mortuary and is expected to be buried next Friday in Kijiwe Tanga, Malindi.
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