Indonesian footballer struck by lightning loses his life during match

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Septian Raharja

13th February 2024 – (Jakarta) An Indonesian player lost his life after being struck by lightning during a match on 10th February.

The victim, identified as 35-year-old Septian Raharja from Football Boots Indonesia (FBI) Subang, was participating in a friendly match at Siliwangi Stadium in the city of Bandung, located approximately 150km south of Jakarta. As captured in a widely shared video on social media, Septian was walking on the pitch when a sudden bolt of lightning struck him, causing him to collapse.

Eyewitnesses, including one identified as GJ, who was on the opposing team, described the weather as overcast and warm during the game. GJ recounted that both of Septian’s legs were severely burnt, and he bore a scar on his chest. The force of the lightning strike tore his kit to shreds, leaving a grim reminder of the tragedy.

Amidst the chaos, fellow players were seen fleeing the area struck by lightning, while Septian’s teammates rushed towards him. In another poignant video, his teammates can be observed carrying him off the pitch, desperately seeking immediate medical aid. Reports indicate that Septian was still breathing when he was struck at around 3.30pm. However, despite being promptly transported to Sariningsih Hospital, located just over a kilometre away, he was tragically pronounced dead.

The news of Septian’s untimely demise has prompted an outpouring of grief and condolences from across the football community. Football Boots Indonesia (FBI) Subang posted a heartfelt tribute on their Instagram account, featuring a photograph of Septian alongside the date of his passing and a rose emoji, symbolising remembrance. Among the mourners was former Indonesian national team striker Cristian Gonzales, who expressed his condolences for the loss.

In a solemn show of solidarity, another team affiliated with the FBI, from Magelang, shared a photograph on Instagram, capturing their players observing a moment of silence in honor of Septian. The heartfelt gesture serves as a reminder of the profound impact his presence had on the footballing community.

This tragic incident in Indonesia recalls a similar event that occurred almost two decades ago in Singapore. In March 2004, Jiang Tao, an 18-year-old player from the now-defunct Chinese S-League club Sinchi FC, lost his life after being struck by lightning during a training session at Jurong Stadium, which has since been demolished. Such occurrences serve as stark reminders of the inherent risks players face even in friendly and training matches.