Scorching bolt from dark sky

Last updated 10:32 18/11/2012
plane stand
Nick Slbosz
BANG: A lightning bolt strikes behind an Air New Zealand plane in Brisbane yesterday.

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A severe thunderstorm which struck Queensland yesterday almost had a sting in its tail for a Kiwi plane.

The horrendous weather conditions - being described as a "superstorm" in Australia - brought lightning and winds which knocked down powerlines and left more than 6000 homes and businesses without electricity.

An Air New Zealand jet at Brisbane Airport nearly became another victim of the storm as lightning struck the tarmac just metres from its tail.

A spectacular photo doing the rounds on social media yesterday appeared to show the Boeing 747-400, which was bound for Auckland, being struck - but an Air New Zealand spokeswoman said that was not the case.

She said the bolt hit behind the plane. She was unable to say whether anyone was on board at the time.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for parts of the state and the Queensland State Emergency Service was run off its feet cleaning up the Brisbane CBD yesterday afternoon after wild weather ripped through the city at about 11am.

The city got 10 millimetres of rain in 10 minutes. One hotel's roof collapsed under the storm.

"It turned day into night," an SES worker said of the storm. "It came quickly and then it left."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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