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Brazilian tour guide killed by lightning while guiding hikers



A Brazilian tour guide was killed by a freak lightning strike while he was leading hikers on a trail.

Leilson de Souza, 36, was taking hikers on a trail tour at Tijuca National Park in Rio de Janeiro when a lightning bolt struck him down, the Daily Mail reported.

In a disturbing video obtained by local news sources, a hiker with the group, Karlla Araújo da Silva, 26, captured the exact moment and her reaction to the incident.

The hiker, who was with her husband and a group of friends, was filming a video of herself and the views from the peak they had just reached.

Before she turned to herself, she videoed other hikers sitting on a rock for a rest and a man with a green backpack and black cap, who is reported as Mr De Souza, going to stand near a cliff edge in what would be the guide’s final moments before his death.

As Ms Da Silva filmed herself, a loud noise could be heard, then the hiker screamed and lowered her phone, capturing her horrified reaction before she stopped recording.

The hiker said that their whole group was told it would be a rainy walk, but they decided to continue with the expedition anyway, as the weather could change from one hour to the next, she told Brazilian news outlet G1.

The video captured Mr De Souza seconds before he was struck and killed

(X/Portal Roma News)

It was the last trip the couple were taking together before they were due to return to Mato Grosso on Monday.

The group were set to start the four-hour round trip to the Pedra da Gávea mountain by hiking and using rappel rope.

“Halfway there, it started to rain, a drizzle. He [the guide] asked if we wanted to continue, and everyone decided yes. The guide said there was a chance to get to the end and have a view in the sun,” Ms Da Silva told the outlet.

After the guide, who she said had around a decade of hiking experience, was struck, she said she felt “panic and despair.”

“It was desperate. I only knew how to cry, and we were in total despair, she said.

“I wanted to go down, but at the same time, I was afraid because more lightning could strike.”

Ms Da Silva was videoing herself after completing part of the hike moments before disaster struck

(X/Portal Roma News)

She said that the whole group were left in shock moments after it happened; Ms Da Silva tried to ring a rescue team, but she could not get the words out of her mouth.

Her husband ended up making a call to a fire department, and a helicopter came to collect Mr De Souza’s body.

The hikers were reportedly escorted back by one of Mr De Souza’s brothers, who was taking a course to also become a tour guide.

Mr De Souza’s death comes after another freak lighting strike this month when a 34-year-old mother-of-two, Froilanis Rivas, was killed while standing on a beach in Columbia.

Ms Rivas was hit by a bolt that sent her into cardiac arrest, but she later succumbed to her injuries and died.

There are approximately 24,000 fatalities worldwide linked to lightning annually, with ten times that amount in injuries, according to the National Library of Medicine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say around 40 million lightning strikes hit the ground in the US each year, but there is less than one in a million chance that someone would be hit.

People who are struck by lightning have a 90 per cent survival rate.

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