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Camera captures near miss lightning strike

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Andrea Bagley
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 12:48 PM - It can be one of the most dangerous forms of severe weather and this week, close encounters with lightning have been making headlines.

An Atlanta man is lucky to be alive after a lightning strike literally blew him out of his shoes.

"I looked across the driveway and I could see my boots over there. They were no longer on my feet, and one of them was smoking. At that point I realized I had just been hit by lightning," recalls Sean O'Connor.

Aside from being shaken up, O'Connor says he's lucky to be alive.

Bruce Hyland is feeling the same after capturing a destructive lightning strike on camera.

The irony? He didn't even realize it had happened.

"There was no sense of a flash," Hyland says. "We just knew it was very close. And it was only when we reviewed the video that we realized how close it was."

Hyland says he was camping with a group of friends at Shoshone Lake in Yellowstone National Park when he pulled out his camera to take pictures of a sudden hailstorm.


Playing mythbuster on lightning strikes: Get the detailed analysis from chief meteorologist Chris Scott


"All of a sudden we hear this enormous crash. We didn't see a flash of lightning, we didn't know how near it was. But I just thought hey, I've been taking a video. I wonder if I caught the thunderclap when it went off so I played it back."

A frame-by-frame examination of Hyland's video shows what the human eyes at the campsite couldn't see in real time as lightning strikes a pair of nearby trees.

Still pictures taken just moments later show the deep scars left by the lightning strike and just how close it came to the campers.

"The best way to mitigate lightning risk is to be weather aware and remember the phrase – When thunder roars, go indoors," warns Weather Network chief meteorologist Chris Scott. "If you can hear thunder, you’re close enough to get struck by lightning."

Can someone really be ‘blown out of their shoes’ by lightning and survive?

Scott explains.

With files from CNN

Man 'blown out of shoes' by lightning
Can someone really be ‘blown out of their shoes’ by lightning and survive?

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