Ethiopian Airlines refutes reports that it involved voodoo to cleanse one of its planes struck by lightning in Togo

Ethiopian Airlines has described as factually incorrect the media reports that the East African company involved voodoo to cleanse one of its planes, struck by lightning on approach to landing last week in Togo

Several social media posts, including a report on this website had claimed that the company invited local traditional authorities to cleanse one of its B787 Dreamliner aircraft after pictures emerged of locals dressed in voodoo practitioner’s attire climbing on and disembarking from the affected plane.

Uninvited voodoo priests embark on Ethiopian Airlines plane

However, in an email to our editor, Ethiopian Airlines says it strongly refutes the media reports.

“The fact of the matter is that while our aircraft was under repair after lightning strike, we came to know after the event that the local religious leaders visited the aircraft without our knowledge. We haven’t contacted them and neither did they. They visited the area without our consent,” the company’s email read in part.

The aircraft was reportedly hit by thunder lightning in the Togolese capital Lome on approach to landing.

The company said local religious leaders visited their aircraft without their knowledge

However, lightning strikes to aircraft are much more common than one might think, experts say.

Planes all over the world get struck by lightning almost daily. An airplane in commercial service is hit by lightning on average once per year.

While some travelers may find the experience unpleasant, modern jetliners are designed to cope with lightning strikes. They go through specific lightning tests to make sure they can withstand hits as part of their certification.


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