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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 August, 2003, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Woman hit by lightning
Great Barr Leisure Centre
Some onlookers at the leisure centre needed treatment for shock
A woman had a heart attack and 14 people were treated by paramedics after lightning struck at a football match in Birmingham.

The woman's heart stopped after she was hit at the Great Barr Leisure Centre on Sunday afternoon, but she was later revived.

Eight people were hurt during the storm and received treatment for burns and eye injuries, a spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said.

The remainder of those who received medical attention were suffering from the shock of watching the woman being struck.

'Direct hit'

West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman, Steve Evans, said the woman, who is being treated at Birmingham's City Hospital, very nearly lost her life.

"Paramedics never give up. By the time they got to the hospital the patient started to make a recovery.

"The hospital have now been able to stabilise her breathing and any other problems she suffered."

Mr Evans added: "Nature took over dramatically I am afraid, but we are delighted by the woman's recovery."

There were a lot of people in deep shock from actually seeing the woman injured
Derek Jevons
Assistant leisure centre manager

Derek Jevons, assistant manager at the leisure centre, said footballers from a local team were training on one of six pitches at the site.

Mr Jevons said there was one lightning strike and the woman took "a direct hit".

The bolt hit the ground and 12 or 14 footballers suffered deep shock as a result, he said.

The woman who was most seriously injured was thought to be in her 40s.

She was watching the game at the ground, which has no stands and is in a residential area.

Show cancelled

Mr Jevons said: "It was pretty horrendous really because there were a lot of people in deep shock from actually seeing the woman injured and the lightning strike itself."

Meanwhile, a Warwickshire agricultural show was called off after another woman was hit by lightning.

The woman, who is thought to be in her 30s, suffered chest injuries after being struck at the Fillongley Agricultural Show in Corley, near to Coventry, at about 1420 BST on Sunday.

Five other people were injured.

Elsewhere, in Birmingham, more than 60 firefighters tackled a large fire caused by lightning at factory units in Mainstream Way, in the Vauxhall area of the city.

Footballer killed by lightning
05 Aug 02  |  England

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