A man in the United States escaped a lightning bolt by inches during a thunderstorm.
CCTV footage of the incident which happened in Horry County, South Carolina, shows the lightning bolt narrowly miss the man as he walks on a side walk.
Romulus McNeill said he was trying to get to his car after leaving the Academy for Technology and Academics, where he works as a guidance counselor, on Thursday night, when storms started rolling through the area.
“I took a chance and I said, ‘I hope I don’t get struck by lightning,” McNeill told WMBF News.
The footage shows McNeill seen losing and quickly grabbing his umbrella and rushing to the parking lot for safety.
“I felt a shock,” McNeill said Friday. “It was just kind of insane for it to happen like that. I was just trying to get home and get something to eat.”
He also posted a video of the hair-raising incident on Facebook.
Several netizens who commented on the post said the man was lucky to have survived.
“What in the world I'm glad you're ok Bro,” one commented.
Another advised caution.
“Glad you're ok, but we need to be more cautious with this weather, rarely did we hear of someone being hit by lighting, it is more common now. I wonder if it's because we think it's just another day and go on. Please everyone; be real careful, with our weather. Lighting can and will kill you.”
Mcneill was indeed lucky. According to The Washington Post, lightning has killed 12 people in the United States this year.
On an average, lightning in the United States has killed more than four-dozen people every year over the past three decades. And men are four times as likely to be struck, The Post reports.
Hundreds of others suffer injuries annually that can often be permanent and life-altering. Long-term effects can include problems with coordination and balance, concentration issues and chronic pain.
The National Weather Service has been cautioning people about the perils of venturing out during thunderstorms.
“Of all storm-related hazards, only flooding and tornadoes claim more lives per year on average. Yet, because lightning rarely causes mass destruction of property or mass casualty events, the dangers associated with it are underappreciated,” it says as part of its safety campaign "When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!"