“Rest in Peace” – Lightning Strikes Soccer Player During Game, Leading to Death as Fans Mourn Tragic Loss

Published 02/12/2024, 7:51 AM EST

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It’s November 3, 2023, the first matchday of the Indonesian Soeratin U-13 Cup. With heavy rains leading up to the first match, what happened just a few minutes into it sent shockwaves through the soccer community. As rain poured down in the stadium in East Java, lightning struck a seventh grader, and they suffered a cardiac arrest. Thankfully, prompt medical intervention helped resuscitate the young player. On February 10, 2024, history repeated itself. Unfortunately, it didn’t end the same way for 35-year-old Septain Raharja.

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The melancholic event took place at Bandung’s Siliwangi Stadium in West Java. A friendly soccer game was underway between Bandung’s 2 FLO FC and FBI Subang when doom struck around 8:30 UTC amidst rainfall. Without warning, Septain Raharja, engaged in the match, faced nature’s wrath when he bore the brunt of the fulminating attack by lightning.

Immediately after the lightning struck, the player collapsed, prompting his teammates to rush to his aid. Reports indicate that he held onto life momentarily, even after being hit directly. Subsequently, he was quickly transported to the local Sariningsih Hospital for medical treatment. However, despite the best efforts of the medical staff, he tragically succumbed to his severe burn injuries.

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This spine-chilling moment, which was fortuitously captured on camera, spurred shockwaves throughout social media platforms globally. The gruesome video undoubtedly compelled fans worldwide to share their empathetic condolences for this heartrending loss.

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The soccer world united as 1998 history repeated itself in this “terrifying” incident

As surprising as it may seem, considering how rare such incidents are, something similar happened in 1998. But on a much larger scale. During a soccer match in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a lightning strike tragically took the lives of 11 people – players and staff – aged between 20 and 35. The incident inevitably left the global soccer community in deep mourning. And it’s no different now.

In reaction to this tragic event, another supporter took a solemn moment to express profound condolences for those closely linked with the victim. They wrote, “That’s really tragic news. My thoughts go out to the footballer’s family and teammates during this difficult time.” Another echoed the sentiment. “My condolences with his family.” 

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Since the tragic loss, many Indonesian teams have observed a minute of silence before their games. And there’s no doubt teams, players, and fans will continue paying tribute to the late player. A user reflected on Septain Raharja’s passing, writing, “Too young for the footballer to leave. Good Indonesian athlete. Rest in Peace💐🙏🏻” Another expressed, “RIP to that player 😢”

A soccer referee also shared their experience of diligently monitoring the weather conditions to ensure player safety. They even questioned why it wasn’t done in this particular situation.

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The sight of the player being struck by lightning left another fan “speechless,” contemplating the improbable odds. “That left me speechless. I mean, man wtf, what are the odds? It was a direct hit.” The incident was undoubtedly terrifying, and others expressed just that. “Horrible… Sorry for the accident,” wrote one, while another commented, “Omg that is terrifying.”

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The wrath of nature is an unavoidable force, and it is truly disheartening to witness such an unforeseen occurrence. We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the friends and family of the victim as well.

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Written by:

Saransh Chauhan

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Saransh Chauhan is a Senior Soccer Writer at EssentiallySports. From dissecting the latest developments in soccer leagues to delving into off-court and entertainment topics, Saransh has cemented his reputation as a true all-rounder. His coverage leans towards players with exceptional dribbling skills and playmaking abilities; Ozil, Xavi, Iniesta, and Neymar for example.
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Edited by:

Rohan Karnad

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