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Dead on the Spot: Lightning Strike Kills Jogging Elderly Couple in Malaysia

Mar 14, 2017 07:28 AM EDT

An elderly couple who went for a jogging at a park in Bandar Puchong Jaya reportedly died after getting struck with lightning.

Malay Online reported that Yee Boon Koo, 59, and wife Ooi Lee Chen, 57, were found motionless by a passerby on March 12 at around 6 p.m.

Serdang deputy OCPC Supt. Lee Wai Leong said they suspected that they were killed by lighting because of the visible signs around the area such as scorch marks, dislodged and shattered bricks.

"There were visible signs of a lightning strike about half a meter from the footpath where their bodies were found," he said.

Yee Boon Koo had bleeding in the head, which as police suspected, he got when he fell down. A medical officer pronounced that they immediately died after they were hit.

News Straits Times said a witness who chose to be anonymous claimed he heard a scream coming from the location before their bodies were discovered.

Meanwhile, the bodies have been sent to the University Malaysia Medical Centre for a post-mortem examination.

National Geographic says death by lightning is particularly high in developing countries. In an article they published in 2013, they said "a largely agricultural and labor-intensive economy, poor infrastructure, and a tropical climate all play a role in higher rates of lightning-related deaths and injuries in countries such as South Africa, Malaysia, India and Bangladesh."

Lightning expert Mohd Zainal Abidin Ab Kadir, said Malaysia has the third highest lightning activity in the world. And the lack of awareness of Malaysians on this statistics makes it even more dangerous for them.

To reduce numbers of death by lightning in Malaysia, periodic training programs for engineers on lightning protection technologies are being conducted. It is estimated that the country is losing a hundred million dollars per year in terms of economic losses because of the lack of solid infrastructure and lightning rods.

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