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Cathay Pacific plane struck by lightning during Saturday’s fatal thunderstorm

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Source: Coconuts HK

Image: Ng-CS

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Photo via Weibo.

Hong Kong’s first “red rainstorm warning” of the year not only plunged the city into darkness and left two dead on Saturday afternoon, it also terrified scores of passengers flying to Shanghai when their plane was battered by turbulence and struck by lightning.

According HK01, Cathay Pacific flight CX360 was 

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, but departure was delayed by about an hour, putting its takeoff time squarely in the middle of the Hong Kong Observatory’s thunderstorm warning window.

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 and 

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 posted to the mainland social media site Weibo by a user called Ng Chen-sing show a bolt of lightning strike the wing of the plane, as well as minor damage to the aircraft’s nose after landing. According to Ng, 

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 as if flew through the storm. “I felt the plane was going to fall apart!” Ng said in his post. 

HK01 reports that the plane, an Airbus 330, is currently undergoing inspections. Though undoubtedly terrifying, lightning striking airplanes is not uncommon, and is rarely a problem. In recent decades airplane designers have taken great pains to ensure that lightning strikes don’t effect sensitive electronic equipment or, thank God, the aircraft’s fuel tanks, 

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 in a recent story on the phenomenon.

The reason modern aircraft are able to pass through lightning safely is that their fuselage functions as a Faraday cage, which distributes electrical current through an exterior conductor — in this case the plane’s body — without affecting the interior of the cage.

Planes struck by lightning are generally inspected after landing, but are usually found not to have been damaged, or to have sustained only minor damage.

The Hong Kong Observatory 

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 on Saturday after a system of thundershowers coalesced around Guangzhou and began intensifying as it moved into to the SAR.

An average of 40 millimeters of rain fell across the territory, with more than 60 millimeters recorded in parts of the New Territories and Lantau Island. Wind speeds at times exceeded 100kph in North Point and Green Island.

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Oh wow... pretty scary

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that is pretty scary. luckily the plane land in Hong Kong safety. the pilot should know that they should fly when there is a thunderstorm.

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OMG this is super scary! Imagine being inside the plane and experiencing it all when the lighting strikes.....cannot imagine it!

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Thanks to the engineers who designed such a great airplane or this will be a horrible news.

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Wow, scary moment but i'm glad nothing crazy happened and everyone was ok. 

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