A 35-YEAR old man died instantly after lightning struck him while he was collecting firewood with a friend by the beach of an island on Vanua Levu.
Police media officer northern Luke Rawalai said the man was collecting firewood along the shorelines at Dreketi Village on Qamea Island when the incident occurred.
He said the deceased, Jone Talewale was using a cane knife to collect firewood.
"We are investigating whether the blade of the cane knife attracted the bolt which struck him down," Mr Rawalai said.
"The reason we are investigating this is because the cane knife was found 20 metres away from where the body was found," he said. He said the incident happened on Monday evening.
"The deceased was accompanied by a friend who alerted other villagers. Police were informed and we took his body to Taveuni Hospital mortuary for a post-mortem examination," Mr Rawalai said.
The total death toll caused by lightning this year now stands at 6.