Leicester

Worshippers flee as lightning strikes Leicester temple

CCTV has captured the moment lightning struck a Sikh temple, blowing a hole in the roof and sending worshippers fleeing in terror.

About 20 people were praying inside the Ramgarhia temple in Leicester when it was hit on Saturday afternoon.

Avatar Semhi, one of the temple's committee members, said the "rear wall and roof were literally blown off".

One person who suffered minor injuries was treated in hospital but later discharged.

Ramgarhia temple damage
Parts of the temple's roof and wall were badly damaged
Ramgarhia temple damage
Debris from the lightning strike fell into the temple's prayer room
Ramgarhia temple damage
It will cost an estimated £250,000 to repair the damage

The blast left debris, including timber from the building's roof, strewn across the city's Meynell Road.

Mr Semhi said: "It looked as if the entire area had been eliminated by the flash of the lightning and at that time it must have hit the building - and the rear wall and the roof were literally blown off."

He said had the lightning struck an hour earlier, when 250 people were inside the temple, he believed there could have been fatalities.

The estimated cost of repairing the damage has been put at £250,000 but Mr Semhi said he was hopeful the insurance company would "react quickly".

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