Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Thursday, September 23, 1999 Published at 18:13 GMT 19:13 UK


Lightning kills women in park

Two women found dead in London's Hyde Park were struck by lightning.

The tragic deaths occured as severe storms swept across the capital on Wednesday evening and as violent weather caused mayhem across southern England.

The BBC's Paul Curran reports: "The bodies were discovered by a cavalry officer"
The bodies, believed to be two oriental women in their 20s, were found close to a tree in a wooded area by an army officer exercising his horse just after 0700 BST.

A huge area of the park was sealed off while the bodies - clothed and lying on grass - were examined then removed for a post mortem examination.

[ image: Police sealed off a huge area of the park]
Police sealed off a huge area of the park
Police initially said the deaths were "suspicious" but later confirmed the women had been hit by lightning.

The bodies were discovered lying close on a section of relatively clear ground, about 200 yards from the busy rush-hour traffic on Serpentine Road, just north of the Rose Gardens entrance.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Andy Trotter, in charge of crime in central London, said: "They appear to be of Far Eastern origin. They were lying on the grass and clothed."

In the UK, 24 people are struck by lightning and five are killed every year, the Met Office says.

Scientists say lightening bolts can generate currents of up to 100,000 amps.

Tornado's trail of destruction

The fatalities occurred on a night of violent weather in southern England.

The Met Office has warned the North of England and Scotland to be prepared for adverse weather as the storms move up the country.

There are fears of more bad weather to come after a mini tornado left a trail of destruction at Pagham, West Sussex.

More than 70 firefighters, police and representatives from the Environment Agency were called in after the tornado hit in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Hundreds of branches were left strewn across roads, a boat was blown into a tree and garage roofs were blown off.

In London, a mopping up operation was launched after the thunderstorms and heavy rain caused widespread disruption and some flooding across the capital.

More than half an inch of rain fell in half an hour.

Flooding on platforms closed Victoria station on Wednesday night, as well as several underground stations.

Drivers experienced long delays out of the capital, especially on the M25. The Fire Brigade said flooding in south-west London was caused by leaves blocking drains.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

UK Contents

Northern Ireland

Relevant Stories

18 Aug 99 | UK
Lightning strike kills golfer

28 Oct 98 | Africa
Lightning kills football team

13 Jun 98 | Latest News
The fatal force of lightning

Internet Links

The Met Office

BBC Weather Centre online

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online