10/04/2006

Climber killed by lightning strike

A man who was found dead on the top of a County Down mountain at the weekend may have been struck by lightning.

The man's body was found on Slieve Donard in the Mourne Mountains just before 2pm on Saturday by a group of walkers.

Police said that the man, believed to be in his 30's, may have been trying to find shelter from a storm when he was struck by lightning.

A post mortem examination has revealed that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

The body was recovered from the mountaintop by a police search and rescue team, and a Dublin-based coastguard helicopter.

Ed Kilgore from the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team said the death was very unusual and that the man could have been lying on the peak for up to two days.

He added that he has been a member of the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team for more than 25 years and this is the first time he has ever witnessed someone being killed by a lightning strike.

(EF/SP)

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