Ma On Shan Country Park in the New Territories and, inset, a rescue helicopter. Photo: Google Maps/HK Government

An 18-year-old man died after being struck by lightning while hiking with a group of friends in the New Territories during a thunderstorm warning on Monday.

The hiker, who studied at the South Island School in Wong Chuk Hang on Hong Kong Island and was due to start university after the summer, went hiking with a group of five friends on MacLehose Trail in Ma On Shan Country Park, news website HK01.com reported.

At about 12:44pm, when the group was hiking along the Maclehose Trial Section 4 to Tai Kam Chung, his friends found him on the ground and unconscious. They called police and they suspected he had been struck by lightning because they found burn marks on his glasses.

The Government Flying Service arrived at the scene with a medical officer who tried to resuscitate him as they took off for Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital. However, he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The Observatory issued a thunderstorm warning at 10:48am and an amber rainstorm warning at 12:15pm on Monday. The weather forecaster advised people to stay indoors and to seek shelter in buildings if they were caught outdoors in a thunderstorm. They also advised people not to stand on high ground and to keep away from conductive objects, trees or masts.

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