Video of the moment a ground worker was launched across the rain soaked runway after a plane was struck by lightning shows just how lucky the 21-year-old is to be alive.
Austin Dunn, 21, sustained third-degree burns and spent over two weeks in hospital after the incident at Southwest Florida International Airport on July 22nd after the bolt hit the plane and traveled through the airport worker.
The footage, obtained by NBC2, shows Dunn being flung backwards into the air as the Sun Country plane waits on the runway to take off during the lightning storm.
Visible in an orange uniform, the 21-year-old was working on the plane’s under wing when it was struck and the bolt passed through to him.
Left unconscious his co-workers came running to his aid and was immediately rushed to hospital where he spent two weeks recovering.
His sister Autumn Dunn told the station it was a miracle he was alive: “We knew he wouldn’t give up. Once we knew he was alive. It was a relief but it was definitely the scariest thing, you don’t expect it…you don’t expect it.”
Florida have over double the deaths from lightning than any other state with 52 people have been killed in Florida over the last decade. The next nearest was Texas wth 21 killed during the same time frame.
Advice for Floridan residence has been to take cover during the regular lightning storms, with John Jensenius, a lightning safety specialist with the National Weather Service and NOAA telling the Naples News: “Lightning can strike outward from a storm about 10 miles.
“We say if you hear the thunder, you’re within striking distance of the storm.”
Florida’s hot and humid weather make electrical storms common, but according to Vaisala, Texas actually had more lighting flashes last year with over 4 million recored by the firm, while Florida had 1.2 million.