Lancashire lightning spotters rescued from car on beach

Preston Image copyright Sonia Bashir Photography
Image caption Sonia Bashir captured this lightning strike in Preston

Two lightning spotters had to be rescued from a beach by police when their car got stuck amid a "spectacular" overnight thunderstorm.

Lancs Road Police said the pair were parked on sand off Carr Lane in Middleton, near Morecambe, when the car became embedded.

Officers helped release them before the tide came in and have urged people not to try and drive on to beaches.

BBC Weather said there were about 48,000 lightning strikes overnight.

Image caption Lightning in Higham, Pendle, at about 02:45 BST

Houses in Cheshire, Warwickshire and Wrexham caught fire after being hit by lightning, while a taxi driver was also rescued from flood water in Newbridge, Caerphilly county.

At least 20 to 30mm of rain fell in parts of the north of England, the Midlands and Wales and weather forecasters said temperatures in some parts could reach 36C (97F) later.

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