NAGOYA – A high school student died after being struck by lightning Wednesday during a baseball game at a school in Fusocho, Aichi Prefecture, police said.
Shoki Ando, 17, a pitcher for the private Seishin High School, was on the mound when he was struck by a thunderbolt during a game against an unnamed high school, according to Inuyama Police Station sources. The police were informed about the lightning strike by phone at 1:15 p.m.
The second-year student and resident of Oguchicho fell into cardiopulmonary arrest and was rushed to a nearby hospital, where his pulse briefly recovered before he died, the sources said.
Ando was struck as the game was going on in front of about 100 spectators, including parents and other high school students. The game had been briefly suspended due to rain starting at 1 p.m.
Police quoted witnesses as saying they heard distant thunder first, and then after about 10 seconds the lightning bolt hit the student with a loud “bang.”
“We need to remind ourselves thunder may feel distant, but an incident like this could happen,” Mitsuo Kurachi, principal of Seishin High School, said after the incident. He said the school will create an instruction manual to address thunderstorm situations.
The Nagoya Local Meteorological Observatory had issued a thunderstorm warning early Wednesday, but the school was not aware of it, Kurachi said.