A football player in Indonesia's top-tier league passed away over the weekend after a lightning strike hit him directly on the pitch during a friendly.
35-year-old Septain Raharjz immediately collapsed on the field upon the lightning bolt strike. The incident stunned fans and teammates of both sides, FBI Subang and FC Bandung, at Siliwangi Stadium in Bandung on the island of Java.
Raharjz suffered multiple burns after the lightning strike but appeared to be breathing. Emergency vehicles rushed him to a nearby hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Said one Twitter user: “That's awful and condolences. In my referee days I always kept an eye on the weather, it's in the FIFA manual I believe. For exactly this reason. Don't know if that was possible here or if there was a ref. This video will make it's way to FIFA and ref associations everywhere.”
While lightning strikes are rare, this is the second time a similar event has occurred in under a year. In November 2023, a youth player in Bojonegoro, East Java, suffered a cardiac arrest during the Soeratin U-13 Cup. The boy ultimately regained consciousness.
In a devastating incident in 2008, lightning killed an entire team of 11 Congolese players on the field during a match. Remarkably, the opposing team remained unharmed.