Fourteen-year-old killed by lightning

Lightning killed a 14-year-old boy yesterday at the Anna Catherina, West Coast Demerara (WCD) seaside.

Jahven Sukhu called ‘Javid’ of 197 Cornelia Ida, WCD and a third form student of the Stewartville Secondary School was standing by the ocean watching his uncle clean his seine when the incident occurred at about 9.30am yesterday morning. After the incident, he was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The uncle, Thakur Lalbehari felt the effects of the lightning, but was not hurt because he was wearing long boots which protected him.

Recounting the incident, Lalbehari told Stabroek News that his nephew was watching a group of boys playing cricket when the rain, which had been threatening to fall all morning, began to pour down and thunder began to roll. He said that the other boys all ran to shelter in a shed and only he and Sukhu were left outside.

He recalled that there had been two smaller flashes of lightning before the third deadly one. He said that when that one struck, Sukhu, who was standing barefoot at the edge of the ocean was pitched into the water.

“Me see he fall and me gan go grab am,” he said, adding that he also felt the impact of the strike, though only slightly. He called the boys who were sheltering and two came running and they tried to revive the unconscious Sukhu, but it was a futile task. He said that he then went to get a taxi and rushed the boy to the West Demerara Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Lalbehari who said that Suhku was like a son to him as he was always at his home assisting him with his fishing, noted that the lightning left had no mark on the boy’s body.

The grieving man declared that it was only the long boots he was wearing that had saved him. “If me din had on long boots me woulda gone too,” he said.

At Sukhu’s grandmother home in Anna Catherina yesterday grieving relatives gathered in preparation for a wake. His parents were unable to speak.

The teen was described as willing and kind and a “very nice kid.” He leaves to mourn his brother, parents, grandparents and other relatives and friends.

Lalbehari said that he had never experienced anything like that lightning before. He described it as “shine, shine” and something which he had only ever seen in the movies. It was, he claimed, the “biggest lightening me ever see strike in this ocean.”

Similar occurrences in previous years have left a number of persons dead.

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