Couple’s Toilet Explodes After Lightning Strikes Septic Tank

Cloud to ground lightning strikes during a supercell thunderstorm, May 9, 2017 in Lamb County, Texas.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

A Florida couple got the shock of their lives when their toilet exploded into hundreds of pieces after lightning struck their septic tank on Sunday morning during a thunderstorm.

MaryLou Ward said she and her husband, along with their three dogs, were lying in bed in their Gulf Cove home listening to the rain and thunder, when they heard the explosion.

“It was the loudest noise I’ve ever heard, it just went BOOM,” Ward told WFLA.

“We got out of bed and came over here, and the toilet was laying on the floor.”

“We smelled smoke and I looked outside,” Ward said, adding that the smoke was coming from the septic tank.

Ward told WINK that the pieces of the shattered toilet were everywhere. There were even shards of the toilet embedded in the bathroom wall.

The lightning strike did not just blow up the toilet. The home’s indoor plumbing and the septic tank were also destroyed by the strike, WINK reported. The explosion caused the master bedroom window to shatter. In addition to that, the couple found pieces of their destroyed yard decorations scattered across their property and in the street.

The couple called A-1 Affordable Plumbing to clean up the mess and repair the damage. In a Facebook post, the company confirmed that lightning struck near the septic tank, and the electricity from the strike mixed with the methane gas in the pipes to create an explosion. The company also said that the septic tank would need to be replaced, and most likely all of the sewage piping would need to be replaced as well.

“It just did all of that damage and exploded things into the road and so on in half a second,” Charles Allen, the couple’s neighbor, told WINK.

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“I already sent a picture out to my kids and said, ‘Don’t do it!’ Here’s the proof why you shouldn’t go near the bathroom in a thunderstorm,” Allen told WFLA.

Surprisingly and thankfully, the explosion did not hurt anyone in the home.

“I’m just glad none of us were on the toilet,” Ward told WINK. “That’s the main thing.”

Lightning is no joke — it can even be dangerous when people are inside their homes. Weather Imagery stated that while lightning cannot strike people inside their homes, the electricity produced by it can travel through conductive surfaces such as pipes. If someone is touching one of those surfaces, they can be electrocuted.