Lightning strikes OAPs’ tower block

'HORRENDOUS' STORM ... Charlie Docherty at Durham Court in Hebburn.
'HORRENDOUS' STORM ... Charlie Docherty at Durham Court in Hebburn.

A LIGHTNING strike at a South Tyneside tower block occupied by more than 100 old folk was “absolutely horrendous,” a pensioners’ spokesman said.

The lightning hit Durham Court, Hebburn, at around 9am today, as torrential rain swept across the borough.

Alarms and the concierge system at the 18-storey town centre flats complex went down for several hours after a lightning bolt struck the building.

Charlie Docherty, chairman of Durham Court Residents’ Association, said: “Everything went off at about 9am, just as people were getting up.

“I never saw the lightning actually strike the building, but the sound of the thunder was absolutely horrendous.

“All the alarms and the concierge system were off for several hours and I believe it was quite a job to get everything working again.

“Most of the residents would be in at that time in the morning, and there are around 150 pensioners in Durham Court when it’s at full capacity.”

Council officers worked to reconnect alarms and the concierge system and also supported elderly residents.