Wakefield police issue guidance on staying safe in thunderstorms following death of Blackpool boy Jordan Banks

Police in Wakefield have issued advice on staying safe during thunderstorms, following the tragic death of a nine-year-old boy in Blackpool who was struck by lightning.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th May 2021, 3:58 pm
Police in Wakefield have issued advice on staying safe during thunderstorms, following the tragic death of a nine-year-old boy in Blackpool who was struck by lightning. Photo: RAKESH BAKSHI/AFP via Getty Images

Jordan Banks died in hospital after being seriously injured on a football field in Blackpool on Tuesday evening.

Though investigations are still ongoing, it is believed he was struck by lightning while attending a private training session.

And police in Wakefield have now issued guidance on how to stay safe during thunderstorms, in which they urge parents to "take time to talk to your kids about thunderstorm safety."

In a post on the West Yorkshire Police – Wakefield East and South East page, officers said:

"1. When you hear thunder, take shelter. A strike can travel 50 miles outside of its parent cloud. So if you hear a rumble, take cover if you are outside. A car is the best place as it is a faradays cage, But get indoors!

"2. Never ever take shelter under a tree! A tree is taller and if it is struck, it will splinter, loose branches and there are many examples of trees exploding in all directions!

"3. If you are out in the open, either get to a safe place as fast as you can, or tuck down.

"Discard any metal such as belt buckles, watches, mobile phones, put your feet firmly on the floor, crouch, head between your knees, bum slightly raised.

"There is evidence to suggest you are more likely to survive a strike if you’re soaked through from the rain as the current will choose the wet clothes to travel through to the ground.

"4. Put down you golf clubs and fishing poles!

"5. A tent is no shelter! If the ground is struck, you will be too.

"6. Stay away from plumbing. Lightning can travel through the water and copper pipes. There are accounts of people being killed doing the washing up, taking a bath or shower.

"7. Unplug any device attached to a phone line and stay away from the electrics in your house. If the house is struck, or a tv aerial, the current will move through your wiring!

"8. Stay away from metal windows and windows with internal metal frames such as UPVC.

"9. Never use an umbrella! It can act as a lightning conductor!

"Mother Nature is incredible, Always keep your eyes to the skies. Appreciate the power, But in the safest way possible.

"RIP Little Fella on behalf of Knottingley Neighbourhood Policing Team."