A veteran tour guide has been killed by a freak lightning strike in Brazil after warning his group that it would rain.
Leilson de Souza, 36, was leading hikers through a trail in Tijuca National Park in Rio de Janeiro when he was shaken Sunday morning.
Karlla Araújo, 26, was taking a selfie video, showing the group standing on a large rock and de Souza pacing for another moment before being hit.
A loud noise could be heard in the background as the woman immediately screamed before the video came to an end.
Leilson de Souza was killed by a lightning strike on Sunday while leading a group of hikers through a hiking trail in Rio de Janeiro
Leilson de Souza was standing over a rock when he was struck by lightning in Tijuca National Park in Rio de Janeiro. He was pronounced dead at the scene
Karlla Araújo (pictured) was taking a video selfie showing her tour guide, Leilson de Souza, standing alone on a rock just before he was struck and killed by lightning
Araújo told Brazilian online news agency G1 that de Souza told them that it would rain in the afternoon and that it was okay for them to continue hiking as the weather could change from one hour to the next.
Following de Souza, who has been offering tours for 10 years, the group decided to make the two-hour hike to the summit when it began to rain midway through the hike.
“He asked if we wanted to continue and everyone decided: Yes,” Araújo said. “The guide said there was a way to get out to the end and take a look at the sun.”
A rescue helicopter was sent to the scene, but by the time paramedics arrived, de Souza was already dead.
The hikers were accompanied by one of Souza’s brothers, who is also training to be a tour guide.
“We were completely desperate. “I wanted to go down, but at the same time I was afraid because more lightning could strike,” Araújo said.
De Souza enjoyed hiking and studied environmental management in college.
Leilson de Souza had told the hikers that it might rain during their hike through Tijuca National Park
A hiking group’s trek through Tijuca National Park ended in tragedy on Sunday when their guide Leilson de Souza (above right) was killed by lightning
Leilson de Souza has provided guides to hikers in Rio de Janeiro for 10 years
One of his greatest achievements was climbing Dedo dec Deus, a 5,551-foot mountain in Serra dos Órgãos National Park in Rio de Janeiro, in June.
One of his siblings, Leonado Barros, told Brazilian broadcaster Globo that the family had difficulty accepting that de Souza had been killed by a lightning strike.
“We didn’t believe it at the time. But the way it happened, we could never have imagined it,” he said. “We imagine dying, dying anyway, but in a flash it’s complicated.”
“He was an excellent person, he did everything for everyone, he was a guy who always wanted to take special people, older people, everything with him on the journey.” His business was mountaineering, it was nature
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that at least 40 million lightning strikes strike the ground in the United States each year.
The chance of being struck by lightning each year is less than one in a million, and at least 90 percent of victims survive.
Data from the National Weather Service shows that 13 people were killed by lightning strikes in the United States in 2023, including three people in separate boating and swimming accidents.
Froilanis Rivas, a 34-year-old mother of two, was killed last Tuesday after she was struck by lightning on a beach in the Colombian city of Barranquilla. At
The Venezuelan native was standing near the show when she was shaken and fell to the sand. Rivas suffered cardiac arrest and was taken to a local hospital, where doctors attempted to revive her before she was pronounced dead.
In September, a Mexican woman and a hammock vendor were killed by lightning on a beach in Michoacán, Mexico.
Elvia de Jesús was walking behind her husband after they got out of the water when she and salesman Felix Andres were struck by lightning on Maruata Beach. Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene.