Football player in Indonesia killed after being struck by lightning on pitch
Tributes have poured in from Indonesia’s footballing fraternity after a footballer died after being struck by lightning during a match on Saturday (Feb 10).
The footballer, identified as 35-year-old Septian Raharja from Football Boots Indonesia (FBI) Subang, had been playing in a friendly match at the Siliwangi Stadium in the city of Bandung, about 150km south of Jakarta.
In a video widely shared on social media, Septian was seen walking on the pitch when a bolt of lightning strikes him and he is seen collapsing on the pitch.
Another player standing near to him can be seen falling over after the lightning strike.
An eyewitness, identified only by his initials GJ, told news outlet Kompas that he was on the opposing team. The sky was overcast, and it was warm during the game, he said.
GJ said both Septian’s legs were burned red, and he also had a scar on his chest. The victim’s kit was in shreds, he added.
(Warning: The video below contains content that some may find distressing)
Some players can be seen running away from the spot hit by lightning while Septian’s teammates can be seen rushing towards him.
In another video, Septian’s teammates can be seen carrying him off the pitch.
According to Indonesian news outlet PRFMnews, Septian was still breathing after he was struck at around 3.30pm.
His jersey was torn as a result of the lightning strike, PRFMnews said. He was declared dead after being taken to Sariningsih Hospital just over a kilometre away.
FBI Subang posted a photograph of Septian on its Instagram account captioned with the date of his death and a rose emoji.
Among the hundreds of comments expressing their condolences for his loss was former Indonesian national team striker Cristian Gonzales.