Daily Mail, UK
Tue, 31 Jul 2012 21:08 CDT
They say lightning never strikes twice but the CN Tower was not so lucky as it was struck repeatedly during a ferocious storm in Canada.
As the lightning lit up the stormy night sky, photographer Richard Gottardo captured the natural phenomenon as more than 25,000 strikes were detected in the storm.
Toronoto's landmark building is the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere and is struck by lightning an average of 75 times a year.
© Caters News Agency
Landmark alight: Toronot's CN Tower was struck by lightning repeatedly during a ferocious thunderstorm.
Mr Gottardo from Toronto, Canada said: 'This was from a severe storm system in southern Ontario where rain, hail and over 25,000 lightning strikes were detected.
'The CN Tower was battered by six lighting strikes over a half hour period.
'I was in awe of the power of the storm, the thunderclaps were so loud and the lightning pierced the sky. You can see for miles in the CN Tower photos as though it was daylight.'
Mr Gottardo set up a remote camera to take the shots of the tower and went out storm chasing for the rest.
© Caters News Agency
Storm chasing: Photographer Richard Gottardo drove around Toronto through sheets of rain but managed to capture lightning striking a tree
He said: 'I chased the storms through farming towns west of Toronto. It was a very scary storm to be in as visibility was almost zero while driving through sheets of rain and hail with lightning strikes all hitting around me.
'Somehow I managed to capture a lightning strike hitting a tree perfectly framed in the centre of the photo so it was definitely a very lucky shot.
'The odds of getting this shot are pretty staggering. It was taken out the side window of the car while travelling at 70 kmh using a 30 second exposure.
'The "super imposed" look is caused by the initial flash of the strike freezing the scene much like a camera flash, while the second flash of the strike exiting the tree freezes it again a split second later.
The CN tower stands at 1,815 feet tall and attracts more than two million tourists every year.
In 1995, the American Society of Civil Engineers declared it one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World. It also belongs to the World Federation of Great Towers where it holds second-place ranking.