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No joke: Hollande plane struck by lightning en route to Merkel summit

The plane returned to France where Hollande has since taken a second flight, bound for Berlin.

Francois Hollande after his inauguration earlier today. Plenty of rain but no lightning at that point.
Francois Hollande after his inauguration earlier today. Plenty of rain but no lightning at that point.
Image: Laurent Cipriani/AP/Press Association Images

MERE HOURS AFTER he was sworn in as president of France Francois Hollande faced his first hiccup this evening when his plane was forced to turn back while en route to Berlin after it was struck by lightning.

Reuters reports that the French president’s plane was forced to turn back after it was struck by lightning during a flight to Berlin where the Socialist Party leader was due to meet with German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Crucial talks on all matters eurozone have now been postponed until Hollande can make it to the German capital.

Angelique Chrisafis from the Guardian reports on Twitter that Hollande has since taken off in a second plane that is once again bound for Berlin. Cue talk of lightning not striking twice.

Reuters adds that Hollande was unharmed in the incident.

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Hugh O'Connell

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