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Lightning lashes iPod-packing teenager

Did the music player save his life?

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Don't use your iPod in a storm. Castle Rock, Colorado teenager Jason Bunch was wearing his when he was struck by lightning, according to local news reports. He was listening to Metallica, but it is, alas, not known if it was the band's Ride the Lightning album.

The 17-year-old was zapped on Sunday afternoon, the Denver Post reports. The guy said he remembers the storm approaching and realised he had to get indoors. The next thing he recalls is lying in bed, bleeding from the ears and throwing up. He was later sent to hospital, but returned home on Tuesday.

Bunch's burns track down from his ears to his right hip where he was carrying his iPod, the paper notes. The iPod had a hole bored into it and the earbuds were reduced to copper residue.

The teenager would probably have been caught by lightning anyway, but it's possible the iPod earphone cables may have saved his life, directing the current quickly away from his chest and, crucially, his heart. Not that anyone should rely on any music player to protect them from storm injuries - it's best to keep out of the weather.

Last month, a 15-year-old British girl was struck by lightning while talking on her mobile phone in a London park. She suffered a burst eardrum and a cardiac arrest. Fortunately, she lived to tell the tale. ®

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