Football player in Indonesia killed after being struck by lightning on pitch

Football player in Indonesia killed after being struck by lightning on pitch
Septian Raharjahad been playing in a friendly match at the Siliwangi Stadium when he was struck by lightning and killed.
PHOTO: Instagram/Sema.Indonesia

Tributes have poured in from Indonesia’s footballing fraternity after a footballer died after being struck by lightning during a match on Saturday (Feb 10).

The footballer, identified as 35-year-old Septian Raharja from Football Boots Indonesia (FBI) Subang, had been playing in a friendly match at the Siliwangi Stadium in the city of Bandung, about 150km south of Jakarta.

In a video widely shared on social media, Septian was seen walking on the pitch when a bolt of lightning strikes him and he is seen collapsing on the pitch.

Another player standing near to him can be seen falling over after the lightning strike.

An eyewitness, identified only by his initials GJ, told news outlet Kompas that he was on the opposing team. The sky was overcast, and it was warm during the game, he said.

GJ said both Septian’s legs were burned red, and he also had a scar on his chest. The victim’s kit was in shreds, he added.

(Warning: The video below contains content that some may find distressing)

Some players can be seen running away from the spot hit by lightning while Septian’s teammates can be seen rushing towards him.

In another video, Septian’s teammates can be seen carrying him off the pitch.

According to Indonesian news outlet PRFMnews, Septian was still breathing after he was struck at around 3.30pm.

His jersey was torn as a result of the lightning strike, PRFMnews said. He was declared dead after being taken to Sariningsih Hospital just over a kilometre away.

FBI Subang posted a photograph of Septian on its Instagram account captioned with the date of his death and a rose emoji.

Among the hundreds of comments expressing their condolences for his loss was former Indonesian national team striker Cristian Gonzales.

[embed]https://www.instagram.com/p/C3LDQYTvNlD/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading[/embed]

Another team under the FBI umbrella, from the regency of Magelang, posted a photograph of its players having a moment of silence in remembrance for Septian.

[embed]https://www.instagram.com/p/C3O7bwWyPzQ/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading[/embed]

The tragedy in Indonesia took place almost two decades after a similar incident in Singapore.

In March 2004,?Jiang?Tao, an 18-year-old player with the now-defunct Chinese S-League club?Sinchi FC, was killed after he was struck by lightning during training at the Jurong Stadium, which has since been demolished.?

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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