Albert Kreci, Gentian Vyshka, Admir Sinamati
Journal of Environment Pollution and Human Health. 2013, 1(2), 16-20DOI:
Abstract: Lightning injuries are not an infrequent occurrence, but casuistic is mainly related to the outdoor environment. Lightning injuries are also becoming uncommon due to better safety measures in electrical power supplying; nevertheless we refer a very rare case of a fatality due to lightning occurring inside home. Full forensic expertise was made to the corpse of a Caucasian 46 year old male, who died inside his kitchen room due to electrical discharge transmitted via the chimney of the home, whose external part was shocked from a lightning. Macroscopic changes following the electrical shock and images from the scene were registered. Although less frequently nowadays, Albanian families nevertheless still use to some extent wood stoves for heating. Chimneys that are mainly hand-made and non-professionally mounted have been imputed for carbon monoxide intoxication, but in rare unfortunate circumstances these chimneys might serve as electrical current transmitters, thus exposing users to very high risk. Lightning injuries transmitted via a rotten chimney whose external part is shocked from an electrical discharge, might quite well penetrate in their respective internal parts and get transmitted to humans in an indoor setting. Particular precautions are needed during mounting of chimneys that might serve as electricity transmitters, since casualties due to lightning in these circumstances are rare, but anyhow occurring.