Kings plane struck by lightning flying home after preseason games in India

Ryan Young
Yahoo Sports Contributor
A plane carrying Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, members of his staff and several media members was struck by lightning before landing in England to refuel on Sunday. (Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

A plane flying Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, several members of the organization and multiple media members was struck by lightning while transporting them back to the United States after a pair of preseason games in India.

The plane, according to the Sacramento Bee, was hit by lightning sometime before it landed in England to refuel before making the rest of the way back to Sacramento. Everyone on board was safe, and the plane made the rest of the journey back to Northern California.

“When we landed [in England] the airplane underwent inspection,” Kings senior vice president of communications Joelle Terry, who was on the flight, told the Sacramento Bee. “No damage was found and we have been cleared for takeoff.”

The Kings fell twice to the Indiana Pacers this weekend in Mumbai, falling by one point in overtime on Friday and then by 24 points on Saturday. The games marked the first ever exhibition games to take place in the country, a venture led by Ranadive — who grew up in Mumbai.

The plane that was struck by lightning on Sunday was not carrying any Kings players or coaches. They traveled separately on Drake’s massive Boeing 767-200ER plane. The Grammy Award-winning Canadian rapper’s plane, otherwise known as “Air Drake,” is reportedly worth $185 million.

According to the Washington Post, the Federal Aviation Administration estimates that lightning hits each plane in service in the United States once a year on average. Though planes are built to withstand a strike, they are then required to undergo an inspection upon landing.

While Sunday’s incident shocked those on board — Amick texted the Sacramento Bee that it “spooked us a bit” — it turns out they had nothing to worry about.

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