Much like sweat-stained shirts or the incessant cry of cicadas, lightning storms are just a part of summer in Japan. But with all of those electrostatic discharges, something other than the ground is bound to be hit.
On August 12, one man in Tokyo not only saw a train being struck by lightning, he caught the frightening scene on film.
The Odakyu Electric Railway train was traveling from Izumi-Tamagawa Station en route to Noborito Station. Just as the train began traversing the Tamagawa River, the body of water that separates Tokyo from Kanagawa Prefecture, the train takes a direct hit from a bolt of lightning. The train itself is made of metal, but it didn’t help much that it was on a metallic railway bridge over a body of water.
The train was struck on August 12 at approximately 7pm JST and a man just happened to be filming the exact location of the strike, catching the entire incident on camera. If you take a look at the video, you can see flashes from distant lightning and hear thunder rumbling all around. Next, a train safely crosses the bridge as the lightning now moves on camera. Then, a second train approaches and BAM! The train takes a direct strike! Sparks can be seen near the front of the train as it slowly comes to a stop. According to reports from passengers, the train lost power and the inside of the carriages went dark. That same day, the Odakyu Electric Railway Company had to suspend operation of several trains due to lightning.
This footage is terrifying to watch; we can’t image how it must have felt (or sounded) from inside the train.
▼ Take a look at the video here. Direct hit at 1:20!