Teen Hit by Lightning wearing iPod while mowing


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kennyout

http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_4016385#

Article Launched: 07/06/2006 01:00:00 AM MDT

denver & the west

Lightning zeros in on teenager's tunes

Castle Rock boy burned via iPod wires

By Felisa Cardona

Denver Post Staff Writer

Castle Rock - Jason Bunch was listening to Metallica on his iPod while mowing the lawn outside his Castle Rock home Sunday afternoon when lightning hit him.

The last thing the 17-year-old remembers was that a storm was coming from the north and he had only about 15 minutes before he should go inside.

Next thing he knew, he was in his bed, bleeding from his ears and vomiting. He was barefoot and had taken off his burned T-shirt and gym shorts. He doesn't know how he got back in the house.

Bunch immediately called his mother, who was in Illinois visiting family.

Kelly Risheill holds up the shirt her son was wearing when he was hit by lightning. Jason Bunch does not remember how he got from the front yard into the house. He came to in his bed, bleeding from the ears and vomiting. He had stripped off his burned clothes, and his shoes were still in the street. No one else was at home. (Post / Helen H. Richardson)

"Mom, I think I was hit by lightning," he said.

Kelly Risheill told her son to call 911, and she started the 14-hour drive home.

About the same time, a neighbor saw Bunch's scorched green and white Reebok tennis shoes in the street, a few feet away from the lawn mower. She also called for help.

Bunch was taken to Sky Ridge Medical Center and placed in intensive care. He was sent home Tuesday.

"I'm alive, and that is what I am grateful for," Bunch said as he lay in bed Wednesday.

From the hospital, Bunch called a friend and told him he wasn't able to go bowling. Then, he called a girl he was supposed to meet for a date.

"I said, 'I did not stand you up. I was struck by lightning."'

Bunch's ears were burned on the inside, and he's lost some hearing, mostly on the right side. His hair was singed.

His face, chest, hands and right leg have freckle-size welts on them as if buckshot had come from inside his body out.

The wounds follow the line of his iPod, from his ears down his right side to his hip, where he was carrying the device. The iPod has a hole in the back, and the earbuds dissolved into green threads.

Bunch and his mother believe the iPod acted as an antenna, drawing the lightning to him. There were tall pine trees nearby that didn't get hit.

But lightning and weather experts say that's probably not the case.

"There is no scientific evidence to show that lightning is 'attracted' to items like an iPod. However, if someone wearing earbuds is struck, current may travel along the wires into the ears," said Gregory Stewart of the Denver-based Lightning Reference Center. "There are documented cases of lightning traveling through wired telephones and killing the users. "

Objects such as loose change in victims' pockets have left first- and second-degree burns after a lightning strike, Stewart said.

Doctors have told Bunch his hearing might come back if the nerves inside were not damaged. For now, he can't stand up because he gets dizzy and his equilibrium is off.

Bunch's mother recalled the death of a motorcyclist who was hit by lightning on U.S. 36 last month and expressed relief that her son's life was spared.

"It's a miracle," she said. "He should not have lived through it."

OKAY, heres the deal, I beleive the iPod did act as a conductor, due to current running through the earbuds(he was listening to music, means there was a charge, DC probablly as batterys are + to - or - to +) would have been more appealing than a tree (due to metal verses non-metal),

This is the second time i've heard Weather people say "no lightning is not attracted to cellphones/electronics/golfclubs/etc"(i heard them say it on the radio or tv like 3-4 days ago), its a load of crap, because electricity is going to take the shortest/least resistant path to the ground, and a cellphone having metal and a charge already with it will be more appealing than a shrub. :shifty:

this is coming from someone whos been in Electronics, some Physics, and general tv watching such as Mythbusters (the episode where they wanted to see if it was dangerous to be on a phone in house, in the shower, etc).....which now makes me want to see if Mythbusters will do an episode to see if the electronics in hands/golfclub over head will be more appealing than a shrub taller than the things.... :whistle:

Either that, or God/Nature does not like Metallica :laugh: :shiftyninja:

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Vykranth

My Physics are very far but I do remember that there are not many things that will be resistant to a lightning stirke.

Besides, one thing which is a much better conductor than the IPod would be the lawn mower. Of couse, since Apple does not make lawn mower, that would make a slightly less interesting article.

Note: why in hell was he mowing the lawn before a thunderstorm??? You don't get super-powers being struck by lightning...

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kennyout

well i've done it before, trying to finish before the storm gets there

but they used to say that lightning could strike up to a mile away, and they now say up to 5 miles...

also sometimes you can't hear the storm coming when mowing (not loud enough thunder/can't see past some trees), worse he had music playing so he probablly could not hear it at all

the lawn mower is a good question, it mentions nothing about it in the article....

on your question about which would be a better conductor....there is no charge really to the lawnmower compaired to the electricity in the iPod.....the lawn mower is probablly gas powered, so its combustion based.....it probablly acted as an extention for the electricity, but the article says his shoes were seired(burned).....which makes me think the lightning choose his salty body THIN rubber insoles of his shoes over the THICK rubber wheels of the lawnmower(even though that makes no sense, salt conducts electricity quite well...) his body was a straight line to the ground, while the lightning would have had to travel more through the current through the lawnmower after hitting his head/body, or could have split between the two, as it makes more sense since he lived

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Vykranth

Sure, but the lawn mower itself must contain a good amount of metal which makes it an excellent conductor. Also, since the lawn mower is mowing lawn, we can consider that there is a direct contact between the ground and the lawn mower: grass being around and touching the blades.

Ultimately, given the power of the lightning and the voltage involded, I don't know if having thin or thick rubber soles would make a difference

To quote the Star Trek borgs, at 300 KV, Resistance is futile! :D

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Chris Allen

That's pretty wild. :unsure: Serious craziness.

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The Scarecrow

Dateline Castle Rock? Hello. Weirdness daily. Those of you who are Stephen King fans will know what I am talking about.

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kennyout

Sure, but the lawn mower itself must contain a good amount of metal which makes it an excellent conductor. Also, since the lawn mower is mowing lawn, we can consider that there is a direct contact between the ground and the lawn mower: grass being around and touching the blades.

Ultimately, given the power of the lightning and the voltage involded, I don't know if having thin or thick rubber soles would make a difference

To quote the Star Trek borgs, at 300 KV, Resistance is futile! :D

see thats the thing, we don't know if it went through the lawnmower, since they did not comment on that, but yeah it would conduct the electricity, and the soles don't make much difference, at least in this case due to what is there, but if it did hit the lawnmower, not sure if it would explode or not (probablly would, even though i think the gas tank part is all plastic, the engine/motor and such would probablly shread appart...) :huh:

btw even though its combustion, there is a spark plug on lawnmowers (or few, not sure about the ridding type) and a small charge caused by the startup and moving piston(s), like a car.....but i think it is Alternating Current (AC) if i remember :unsure: ....while the iPod and batteries are Direct Current (DC), alternating current would be harder for the arch to occur in this case, while if there is a defenate charge that the cloud and lightning was that attached to him......then it was higher chance to him... :(

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Spartan_X

iPod-equipped teen struck by lightning

burnvic.jpg

Sporting an iPod isn't always the care-free, non-stop dance party that Apple's marketing department would like us to believe. We already knew that the devices could cause accelerated hearing loss, get you mugged on the subway, and take away your free will, and now it seems that the popular DAP may also make you an attractive target for the cruel wrath of Mother Nature. Seventeen-year-old Jason Bunch of Colorado was enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon mowing the lawn this past weekend, when all of a sudden he woke up in bed with burns all over his face, vomiting and bleeding from his ears. Although its not clear whether the iPod he was listening to acted as an antenna for the bolt of lightning that ran through his body, its melted earbuds and a hole in the back of the case would seem to indicate that it did indeed serve as a pathway for the harmful electricity. Not only did Bunch lose hearing in one ear and his sense of equilibrium, but even worse, the incident also forced him to stand up his date for the evening -- and we doubt he'll get another chance with this particular girl after offering such an unbelievable and lame-sounding excuse for his absence.

Source: Engadget.com

Original Source

iPod Attracts Lightning; Teen Zapped

It's true. Listening to an iPod can damage your hearing -- especially when it's STRUCK BY LIGHTNING. Colorado 17-year-old Jason Bunch was mowing the lawn and listening to his iPod when the gadget was struck by a bolt of lightning. It appears that the current traveled up the earbud wires, fried his face and ears and lit his shirt on fire. Although he's still alive, his hearing was damaged. And he's probably going to "Think Different" for awhile.

Link: The Raw Feed

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Saadu

Is this article is writting by a 14yr old?

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ahhell

Is this article is writting by a 14yr old?

:|

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Diffused Mind

Time to encase the iPod in rubber.

Put a giant iCondom around it.

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myNando

Poor guy! I'm sure if he knew what would happen to him, he would've chosen poon tang over the iPod.

Did the iPod survive, btw? LOL

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illegalStuff

Time to encase the iPod in rubber.

Put a giant iCondom around it.

:blink:

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Xero

You can also increase your risk of being hit by wearing a tall hat. Dun be running around during lightning storms.

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SimplyPotatoes

You can also increase your risk of being hit by wearing a tall hat. Dun be running around during lightning storms.

hahaha

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Malechai

man, I bet he wishes he had some other brand of MP3 player now. iPods cause you to get hit by lightning! ZOMG!

:shifty:

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V0b0

Time to encase the iPod in rubber.

Put a giant iCondom around it.

i lol'd

iProphylactic, the way of the future!

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Spartan_X

OMG! Every time you buy an iPod God fries a teenager!

Save a teenager and stop buying the evil iPods! :laugh: :rofl: :p :shifty: :whistle:

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Hum

Wicked sinner and his devilish iPod ! :p

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Bawx

Is this article is writting by a 14yr old?

What makes you say that?

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azz0r_wugg

He's quite hot too

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The Angry Bunny

God, now people are going to be stupid enough to think it was the iPods fault he got struck. I think that article was extremely anti-iPod. My question is what was he doing "mowing the lawn" in the middle of a storm, heck what was he doing mowing the lawn even if it was just heat lightning?

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MrKuro

exactly . . who mows the lawn during a storm?

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psybapunk

well, unfortunately in Colorado, where the boy comes from we get lightning storms literally daily during the summer.

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