Rachel, Andrew and Isobel Jobson survived the incident with some minor burns and a majorly overexposed photo together, courtesy of the sudden lightning bolt.
The siblings were cycling in south London when they stopped for a bathroom break and then took shelter under a tree to avoid some heavy rain on Monday evening, BBC News reports.
“I took a picture of us smiling and we then wanted a sad picture in the rain,” Isobel, 23, told BBC News.
“All of a sudden I was on the ground and couldn’t hear anything apart from this high-pitched buzzing. My whole right arm was numb and I couldn’t move it.”
Rachel recalls posing for the photo and then suddenly finding herself on the ground.
“I felt disjointed. My sister and I were screaming,” she said.
All three of the siblings were treated in hospital for their injuries and later discharged, though Rachel said that Andrew escaped the worst of it and was only stunned.
“I got burnt on my thigh and stomach and it’s left lightning-like marks behind on me and my sister,” Rachel said. “I couldn’t feel my arm.”
The siblings suspect the lightning may have been drawn to them by a titanium plate in Isobel’s arm, which she received after suffering a cycling injury last year.
“My sister’s arm was very hot because of the plate,” Rachel said.
The siblings were allowed to leave the hospital before the end of the night, though they say they still had a few aches and pains afterward.
They also emerged from the ordeal with an incredible photo that they snapped at the moment of the strike. The photo shows two faces washed out in white light, with their clothing lit up bright yellow and orange. The sky behind them is also white while the tree overhead is bathed in fiery hues of orange and yellow.
Lightning kills about 10 per cent of the people that it hits, according to the U.S. National Weather Service. That means the siblings were in the lucky majority of victims, though others have been more unfortunate in recent days.
At least 18 people were killed by a lightning strike while taking selfies in India last week, Reuters reports. The tourists in the group were standing on a watchtower when it was hit.
The U.K. records about 30-60 cases of people being struck by lightning each year, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. The country averages about three deaths from such incidents per year.
In Canada, lightning kills an average of 10 people every year and seriously injures 100 to 150 people, according to the Canada Safety Council. The number of strikes is highest in southern Ontario.
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