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Man seeks payout after eight cows die from flash

The Local · 16 Jul 2012, 07:11

Published: 16 Jul 2012 07:11 GMT+02:00

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The farmer, Per Hedlund, was working inside his farmhouse in Ockelbo, just over 200 kilometres north of Stockholm, when the lightning struck a pole on his farm.

“I was inside a building 150 metres away. I heard a crash and saw a flash of light. It came as such a surprise that I didn’t have time to think,” Hedlund told the Expressen newspaper.

The electric bolt came on Thursday afternoon and immediately killed five of the farmer’s cows and three calves which were standing beneath the pole.

“Everything went so fast, it’s not until afterwards that you get upset,” the farmer said.

Hedlund, who owns 50 head of cattle, is now seeking compensation from the Swedish Transport Authority (Trafikverket) for the substantial cut to his herd, according to Expressen.

“The cows are very valuable. On top of this, there will be quite a big drop in production,” he said.

Thursday saw violent weather across much of Sweden, with 4,000 flashes of lightning recorded nationwide.

The thunderous weather, which was particularly concentrated in the west of the Gävleborg region, will continue into this week according to metrological agency SMHI, which has issued class 1 warnings for area.

Story continues below…

A class 3 warning is the least serious on SMHI's three-level scale.

TT/The Local/og


The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:39 July 16, 2012 by johan rebel
I figure he ought to sue god.
10:28 July 16, 2012 by curious_1

Barbecued beef! :)

12:54 July 16, 2012 by Scepticion
Why is the poor man named??
13:08 July 16, 2012 by hackie
Haha. He should ask God/Nature for the compensation, not trafikverket.
13:21 July 16, 2012 by robban70226
what is the claim? Trafikverket responsible?? i'm missing something here...
14:20 July 16, 2012 by rolfkrohna
You guys need to sharpen up your English, with priority.

You don't say "die from flash", that a five year olds language or real Swenglish..

You say "die from a lightning strike".
17:08 July 16, 2012 by feathernoodle
Or "the cattle were struck by lightning and killed"

But I'm not understanding why the farmer thinks someone "owes" him a replacement of his dead cattle. Sure it's upsetting and a loss of money, but don't farmers have insurance or something to cover "acts of God". It's not like the King of Sweden struck the cows down with a bolt from his trident. In that case, I could possibly understand his complaint.
21:25 July 16, 2012 by wxman
If I were the Trafikverket administrator, I would tell this yahoo two things:

1) Take your lawsuit, roll it up and administer it as you would a suppository.

2) Go someplace private and have sexual relations with yourself.
08:57 July 17, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
Here we go ... compensation culture writ large.

I would have opted for proper insurance myself
09:55 July 17, 2012 by eurobloke
Err, surely even an insurance company will say this is a "force majeure" (in Sweden sometimes known as "högre hand") incident so they wouldn't pay out.
10:34 July 17, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
@ eurobloke

I once had livestock insurance when I kept a horse in the UK and I knew it covered 'lightning strike'.

I no longer have the horse and don't keep animals here in Sweden - I've no idea what they do here, but I'd be surprised if such insurance wasn't available
20:09 July 20, 2012 by Emerentia
Check out this video: (warning,there are dead cows in it)


The yellow sign on the pole says "Vistas ej nära stolpe eller stag vid åskväder" which means something like "Don't stand close to the pole or brace during a thunderstorm". And then somthing about Banverket (which is now called Trafikverket).

But i guess those cows where illiterate or just daredevils and just stood there anyway.. ;)

The farmer should probably have known this and kept the cows elsewhere
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