Did you think that you were safe from lightning strikes while you’re indoors, paying for your groceries? Apparently not. A woman standing in line at a Louisiana supermarket was struck by lightning, a baffling event that a meteorologist called “one-in-a-million.” She ended up in the hospital, and business went on as usual in the store. [More]
Atlantic Southeast Airlines, a regional carrier for Delta, was fined $425,000 by the Federal Aviation Administration for neglecting to inspect two of its jets after they were struck by lightning in July 2008. The FAA says the airline operated 13 flights before the planes were inspected. [More]
Remember Jim? His Comcast cable box randomly responded to the emergency alert system (EAS) by tuning in to QVC. According to a source inside Comcast, rogue lightning strikes set off the EAS, even though there wasn’t an emergency. Two things happen when the EAS activates: the cable box switches to a local channel, and Comcast replaces the local programming with an alert. In Jim’s case, the box switched to the emergency channel—which happened to be QVC—but since there wasn’t an emergency, there was no special broadcast. So what can you do next time your cable box independently declares an emergency?
An iPod won’t attract lightning, but it will make your injuries worse if you are struck by it, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. A 35 year-old man was brought into the emergency room after having been struck by lightning that had jumped to his body after striking a tree, a phenomenon known as “side flash.”
The JetBlue Airways Airbus A320 was heading from Rochester to John F. Kennedy International Airport when the lightning hit it, causing a smell similar to that of an electrical fire to enter the passenger cabin, company spokesman Bryan Baldwin said. There was no fire or smoke, he said.
Because it was potentially on fire, the flight got to skip ahead of other scheduled flights and arrived 20 minutes early. Hooray? —MEGHANN MARCO