Indonesia faced another death of a player after he was struck by lightning on February 10. Siptin Raharja, a footballer from Subang, was struck by lightning while playing a friendly match between 2 FLO FC Bandung and FBI Subang on Saturday evening, when lightning suddenly struck at around 4:20pm, causing the footballer to suffer severe burns.
According to the Daily Mail, Raharja was still breathing after the lightning incident. The footballer was then transported to a local hospital, the news outlet reports, but was unable to survive and died during the flight.
The 35-year-old was based in West Java, Indonesia, and became the second Indonesian footballer to be struck by lightning in one year.
A video of the incident went viral on X, with many football fans gushing in the comments over Raharja's tragic death. This also led to many football teams in Indonesia holding a minute's silence in memory of the footballer.
Sabatin Raharja is not the first footballer in Indonesia to be struck by lightning within a year
Siptin Raharja's death marks the second incident in 12 months in which a footballer has been struck by lightning in the country.
The latest incident occurred on November 3, 2023, the first day of the U-13 Suwaratin Cup tournament, when a young footballer – whose name has not been revealed – died during his match in Bojonegoro, East Java.
As soon as he was struck by lightning, he was immediately taken off the field and taken to the hospital to receive treatment. The athlete had suffered a cardiac arrest but was successfully revived after medical assistance, and regained consciousness after about 20 minutes.
Unfortunately, Raharja was not so lucky.
Last year, there were also incidents of athletes being struck by lightning outside Indonesia.
Another footballer who died from a lightning strike in 2023 was Caio Henrique de Lima Goncalves. The incident occurred in December 2023, in Brazil, when Goncalves – from the Uniao Guairense team – was playing a match against Unidos at the Jose Eleuterio da Silva stadium on December 10.
During the match, a huge lightning bolt struck the ground, injuring seven players on the field. While the other six players recovered over time, Goncalves was the only one who ended up dying due to his serious injuries.
According to the news outlet, the Indonesian Meteorological Agency (BMKG), the Indonesian meteorological agency, analyzed the lightning strike after the incident at Siliwangi Stadium. Analysis revealed that the lightning came from a cloud that was hanging only 300 meters above the stadium when it was struck by Raharja.
In memory of the late Septen Raharja, the players of FBI Magland and Erka bowed their heads in silence for several minutes before starting the match.