A teacher was heading to his car in the middle of a storm when he felt a shock as lightning struck the ground where he was walking.
Guidance counsellor Romulus McNeill was getting ready to head home from the Academy for Technology and Academics in Conway, South Carolina earlier this week when storms began to roll in to the area.
According to WMBF News the teacher actually thought ‘I hope I don’t get struck by lightning’ as he ventured out, however he must have jinxed himself because the bolt came blasting down as he made his way along a path.
School surveillance cameras caught the shocking – excuse the pun – moment and McNeill shared the footage to Facebook:
The bright flash of electricity could be seen hitting the ground, causing the guidance counsellor to jump and drop his umbrella on the ground.
Recalling the experience to WMBF News, McNeill said he ‘took a chance’ when heading out into the storm, as he was ‘just trying to get home for something to eat’.
I felt a shock. It was just kind of insane for it to happen like that.
The surprised man swiftly ducked to pick up his umbrella before jogging off towards the car park, no doubt hoping to escape any further blasts from the sky.
On Facebook, McNeill said he didn’t suffer any major injuries from the experience, which he described as ‘crazy’. He also added he was ‘supa [sic] thankful to have been able to motor scoot out of there’ in one piece.
One social media user asked if the teacher had felt the shock, to which he responded saying ‘it jolted me… I just knew I was done’. He added the lightning was extremely loud and that it ‘scared the heck’ out of him but, aside from the shock and the fright, the teacher was okay.
Though there is a common belief metal objects, like the skeleton of an umbrella, attract lightning, in fact metal can only conduct lightning should a bolt happen to strike nearby.
National Geographic explain carrying an umbrella could make you a target for lightning if it makes you the tallest object in the area, however there were a number of flagpoles and trees surrounding the path McNeill was walking on, suggesting he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Still, many people pointed out the guidance counsellor had a lucky escape from the lightning, with one encouraging him to buy a lottery ticket to see if his good fortune will continue.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.