Man dies in France after being struck by lightning as he left work

He was with a group of colleagues and had just opened an umbrella on walking out when it happened

Storms battered Haute-Savoie on Thursday. Picture for illustration purposes only

A worker was killed after lightning hit him as he left a factory in south-east France, according to emergency services.

It happened around 17:00 in Gaillard, Haute-Savoie, as storms battered the French Alps on Thursday (June 22).

The 34-year-old was leaving work when he opened an umbrella and the lightning struck, reported the Dauphiné Libéré.

The newspaper said he was with a group of colleagues leaving the premises of Delpharm.

"Ten people who witnessed the lightning strike were taken care of by the department's medico-psychological emergency unit, attached to the Samu,” reported the AFP news agency.

"There were plenty of shocked witnesses," Martial Saddier, the president of the Departmental Council of Haute-Savoie, told France 3 Alpes.

Gaillard is a town situated near the border between France and Switzerland.

Storms battered Haute-Savoie on Thursday and the department was on a level-three orange weather warning, the second highest.

The department’s fire and rescue service said it was called out to 160 incidents.

"From 16:30, severe bad weather affected the Haute-Savoie department, particularly in the areas of the Annecy basin and the Arve. At 19:00, nearly 160 firefighter interventions were underway, mainly for falling trees and trees or to pump out water (in flooded areas).”

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