An Indonesian footballer died after being struck by lighting during a match on Saturday (February 10) and tributes have been pouring in since then.
Septian Raharja, 34, playing for Football Boss Indonesia (FBI) Subang, was present on the pitch in a friendly match against 2 FLO FC Bandung at the Siliwangi Stadium in the city of Bandung.
A video circulated on social media sites showed lighting struck Raharja while he was still on the pitch and the 35-year-old was on the ground in no time.
Another player who was standing very close to Raharja, fell to the ground after the lighting hit the surface.
As soon as the lighting struck, some players ran from the field while Raharja’s teammate rushed towards him to provide him assistance.
As per the Indonesian news outlet PRFM news, the 34-year-old was alive when he struck at around 3:30pm. However, on his way to the hospital, which was less than a kilometre away, he was declared dead.
Raharja’s opponent who was identified by his initials GJ, told news outlets that the 34-year-old’s leg burned red and a scar was also seen on his chest. He then confirmed to the reporters that the weather was warm during the match.
“It was hot at the start of the game, but it was already raining in the south and east. It was still hot on the field. That’s why we dared to play,” GJ told media.
FBI Subang posted a photo of Raharja on their Instagram account with a flower emojie, with the date of his death to pay tribute to the player.
Amid the numerous condolences for his loss, former Indonesian national team striker Cristian Gonzales was among those who expressed their sympathies.
Another team affiliated with the FBI, hailing from the Magelang regency, shared a photo of its players observing a moment of silence to honour Septian.
The tragedy in Indonesia occurred nearly two decades after a similar incident 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 when he was struck by lightning during training at the Jurong Stadium, which has since been demolished.