Soccer coach killed by lightning in Bulgaria

Ivan Ranchev, a 41-year-old coach, was killed on the spot by a lightning strike when a severe thunderstorm struck the village shortly after the start of a game between the Lessihovo and Chernogorova teams.

The coach of the Bulgarian soccer team was fatally struck by lightning during the match.

The state news agency BTA reported that the fatal incident occurred Sunday during a friendly game between the teams of Lessihovo and Chernogorova, two villages in central Bulgaria.

Ivan Ranchev, the 41-year-old coach of the visiting team, was killed on the spot by lightning when a severe thunderstorm struck the village shortly after the game began.

An ambulance was immediately dispatched, but medics were only able to confirm his death.

Several other players were knocked down by the shockwave, but were not seriously injured, the report said.

The mayor of Lessihovo, Dimitar Vrincev, told local media that the soccer match began at 6:30 p.m., and shortly afterwards, “it rained, and literally all of a sudden the sky lit up.”

“There was thunder and lightning struck the field,” Vrincev told local media.

“It hit exactly Ivan Ranchev and a player from our team. They both fell to the ground.”

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