Three planes were struck by lightning as they descended into Heathrow on Wednesday evening (27 April) leaving passengers shocked. A British Airways flight was arriving at the London airport when the plane flew into a thunderstorm.
The dramatic moment the plane was struck was caught on video by Sam Van Tilburgh. The video shows a flash of light in the sky immediately after the sound of rumbling thunder as the plane disappears out of view into the clouds. Sharing the video on Twitter he said: "This plane nearly took a massive #lightning strike landing at Heathrow ... was quite a boom." Other witnesses described the sky turning blood red.
Holidaymakers on an Icelandair flight from Reykjavik were also left shocked by the sound of a "huge crack" as lightning hit the wing of their plane as it began its descent into London.
Mirror online reports that charity worker Liz Dobson saw the lightning strike the wing. "It came out of the blue. There was a really loud bang and white flash - not really what you want on a plane. We could see the flash but it was on the opposite side of the plane to me. The lightning hit the wing."
Catherine Mayer, co-founder of the Women's Equality Party who was on the flight said the plane flew into a cloud as it prepared to land at 8.10pm. "As we flew into it there was this extraordinarily loud noise like an explosion and a lot of light. The moment of the strike there was a jolt, and it was very loud and very bright."
Mayer told Sky News that the captain did his best to reassure the passengers after the incident. "The captain said, 'you may have noticed a lightning strike', and everybody just laughed because the idea that anybody could not have noticed it was so ridiculous.
"It was shocking but not frightening because it was way too fast to have one's whole life flash before one's eyes or anything like that," she added.
British Airways later confirmed that a third flight from Prague was also struck, but the airline insisted that there was never any risk of danger to the passengers. "The flight landed safely and will undergo inspection before it returns to service. The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority. Lightning strikes are fairly common and aircraft are designed to cope with them," the airline said.
Members of the public who witnessed the spectacle have been taking to Twitter to share their dramatic images of the lightning strike.