|March 30, 2008|
|By Alex Liam|
|NOT everyone has had a close brush with lightning, but Yishun resident Manimaran Natarajan has.
On March 22, the 37-year-old manager parked his Nissan Sunny in an open carpark behind Block 259 in Yishun during a rainstorm.
The car’s windscreen was hit by a lightning bolt as he was about to open the door, said Mr Manimaran.
‘My eyes were blinded for a few seconds before I noticed small glass pieces on my dashboard and cracks on my windscreen.’
His maid, who was some distance away in the void deck, saw what happened.
His car’s insurer, AXA Insurance, agreed to pay the $400 in repairs and towing charges. Spokesman Christina Wee said that in her company’s experience, such ‘freak’ cases occur once every two to three years.
The Automobile Association of Singapore (AA) noted that insurance companies may not always pay for any damage since lightning strikes are deemed to be ‘acts of God’. These include flooding and hailstone showers. The latter actually occurred in Singapore last Thursday.
AA’s spokesman added that staying in a car during a thunderstorm was still safer than being out in the open since cars are well insulated.
When asked to comment on why the windscreen cracked, Professor Sanjib Panda from the National University of Singapore’s department of electrical and computer engineering, sketched two possible scenarios.
One, when the bolt hit the windscreen, it left cracks as it tried to move downwards. Two, the intense heat generated on impact caused the windscreen to crack.
Mr Manimaran is more wary now. ‘I don’t feel so safe any more in an open carpark.’
Lightning strikes parked car – while owner is still in it
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