A British teenager who was hit by lightning in a storm says that her life was saved by her iPod — and the fact that she was holding her boyfriend's hand at the time.
Sophie Frost and Mason Billington, both 14, took shelter under a tree in a playing field, in Rayleigh during a thunderstorm on Monday night when they were hit by the 3,000-volt lightning bolt.
Frost passed out as the current travelled through her iPod headphones, which were hanging from her school uniform, and burned her chest and stomach.
Although his eyesight was affected by the bolt, Billington put Frost over his shoulder and carried her to get help. A female motorist stopped and drove the pair to the Hospital.
Frost, who received burns to her neck, chest and leg, is now being treated at a hospital in Chelmsford, while Billington is still being treated in Southend.
"Everybody's said the iPod must have diverted the lightning away from my body, which probably saved my life," Frost, who has been dubbed "Sparky" by her friends and family, said. "I've got a few burns but it's all healing OK."
Frost's mother, Julie, told The Sun: “I just thank God my daughter is still alive. The doctors say her iPod saved her. Her nan only bought it a few days ago. Luckily, she wasn’t actually wearing the headphones. If she had been, she might not be here today.
“Mind you, the only thing Sophie seemed worried about was that her new iPod was frazzled.”
Paul Knightley, a forecaster with MeteoGroup U.K., said it was likely that the tree had been struck by lightning which then passed to the teenagers through their wet clothing. He said lightning takes the easiest route to the ground and the metal in Sophie’s iPod would have been the best conductor.