Sunday 28 December 2014

Plane carrying Spanish team home struck by lightning

Published 24/06/2014 | 16:06

Spain's David Villa (C) scores past Australia's goalkeeper Mathew Ryan (L) during their 2014 World Cup Group B soccer match at the Baixada arena in Curitiba June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini (BRAZIL  - Tags: SOCCER SPORT WORLD CUP)
Spain's David Villa (C) scores past Australia's goalkeeper Mathew Ryan (L) during their 2014 World Cup Group B soccer match at the Baixada arena in Curitiba
Spain's Juanfran and Australia's Oliver Bozanic fight for the ball during the group B World Cup soccer match between Australia and Spain
Spain's Pepe Reina (R) saves a goal attempt by Australia's Adam Taggart (L) as Spain's Sergio Ramos (C) watches during their 2014 World Cup Group B soccer match at the Baixada arena in Curitiba
Spain's Jordi Alba (L) and Juanfran (R) fight for the ball with Australia's Tommy Oar during their 2014 World Cup Group B soccer match at the Baixada arena in Curitiba
Spain's David Villa, right, scores his side's first goal during the group B World Cup soccer match between Australia and Spain at the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba
Fernando Torres of Spain scores his team's second goal past Mathew Ryan of Australia during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Australia and Spain
Juan Mata of Spain (C) celebrates scoring his team's third goal with teammates Sergio Ramos (L) and Cesc Fabregas during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Australia and Spain
Juan Mata of Spain (R) celebrates scoring his team's third goal with Raul Albiol during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Australia and Spain
Juan Mata of Spain scores his team's third goal past Mathew Ryan of Australia during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Australia and Spain
Fernando Torres of Spain (R) celebrates scoring his team's second goal with teammates during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Australia and Spain
Spain's David Villa, right, and Australia's Ryan McGowan battle for the ball during the group B World Cup soccer match between Australia and Spain
Spain's Santi Cazorla runs with the ball as Australia's Matt McKay falls during their 2014 World Cup Group B soccer match at the Baixada arena in Curitiba
Spain's Juanfran (R) jumps for the ball with Australia's Jason Davidson during their 2014 World Cup Group B soccer match at the Baixada arena in Curitiba
Juan Mata of Spain scores his team's third goal past Mathew Ryan of Australia during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Australia and Spain
Australia's Ryan McGowan (L) fights for the ball with Spain's Fernando Torres (R) during their 2014 World Cup Group B soccer match at the Baixada arena in Curitiba
Spain's Santi Cazorla (L) fights for the ball with Australia's Jason Davidson during their 2014 World Cup Group B soccer match at the Baixada arena in Curitiba
Spain's David Villa (L) is congratulated by his teammates after scoring a goal against Australia during their 2014 World Cup Group B soccer match at the Baixada arena in Curitiba
Spain's David Villa (7) celebrates after scoring a goal during the 2014 World Cup Group B soccer match between Australia and Spain
Spain's David Villa scores a goal with a back flick kick during their 2014 World Cup Group B soccer match against Australia at the Baixada arena in Curitiba
Spain's Fernando Torres kicks the ball during the 2014 World Cup Group B soccer match between Australia and Spain at the Baixada arena in Curitiba

Spain's soccer team, returning home after a wretched World Cup in Brazil where the holders were eliminated in the first round, had another shock on Tuesday when their aircraft was struck by lightning as it came in to land in Madrid.

The Iberia flight, which touched down at about midday local time (1000 GMT) in the Spanish capital, was hit by a bolt of lightning but there were no negative consequences for the aircraft or the passengers, a spokeswoman for the airline confirmed.

Although such incidents are relatively common and rarely dangerous, it was perhaps a fitting end to Spain's disastrous campaign in Brazil, where they were well beaten by the Netherlands and Chile before securing a 3-0 win against another eliminated side Australia on Monday.

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