The Worst Lightning Strikes Recorded

At Lightning Master Corporation, protecting your employees and assets from lightning is our main goal. After working in the lightning protection business for over 30 years, we have learned a lot about how to provide the best protection from the worst lightning strikes. We have also kept records on some of the worst lightning strikes ever recorded. The following are some of the most well-known lightning strikes on record.

Brescia, Italy

One of the oldest and worst lightning strikes ever recorded happened in the town of Brescia, Italy, in 1769. A church was being used as a battery to store approximately 100 tons of gunpowder. The church took a direct hit of lightning and all the gunpowder eventually caught on fire and exploded. After all the dust settled, nearly a sixth of the city was destroyed and killed nearly 3,000 people. In terms of damage and destruction, the Brescia incident is still considered one of the worst lightning strikes in history.

Yellowstone Fires

During the summer of 1988, Yellowstone National Park experienced a severe drought and high winds. One day, a lightning storm passed through the park and struck trees and plants, setting them ablaze. In all, nearly 42 of the 51 fires were caused directly by lightning strikes, burning approximately 750,000 acres. Combined with winds, nearly 40% of the park caught fire and burned to the ground. A large amount of wildlife perished in the fire as well.

New York City Blackout

The blackout of New York City in 1977 is a well-known incident. Electrical power to the city was lost for nearly 25 hours, creating fear and confusion among the population. What most people do not know is that it was a lightning strike that caused it. The utility company supplying New York City at the time was “Consolidated Edison”, located in Westchester County. When a lightning storm occurred near the plant one day, a lightning bolt struck one of their high-tension wires, causing a major short circuit. Needless to say, life came to a grinding halt in New York City, as subways and elevators stopped working.

Pan Am Flight

One of the worst lightning strikes involving aviation occurred in 1963. A Pan Am flight was preparing to land in Philadelphia when it was struck by lightning. A portion of the wing tore off and the fuel tank ignited, killing all 81 passengers and crew on board.

Contact Lightning Master to Learn More About the Worst Lightning Strikes and Lightning Protection

From all of these examples, it is clear that lightning strikes can cause tremendous damage. Factories, fuel reservoirs, and oil fields are “prime targets” for a lightning strike-related accident. The good news is that you can dramatically reduce the chances of lightning strikes and the resultant damages, by putting in place a comprehensive protection system.

At Lightning Master Corporation, our team is uniquely prepared to analyze your property and develop a lightning protection plan, utilizing the best lightning protection systems and equipment designed to keep your employees and equipment safe. Contact us today at 727-447-6800 to schedule a site analysis.