A PETROL station in Christchurch is closed after being struck by lightning.

Staff in the shop at the BP garage in Somerford Road reported the building vibrating and the power shorting out when the lightning struck at around 2pm today.

However, despite what was described as a “burning smell”, firefighters examined the roof with thermal imaging equipment, found no evidence of flames, and left after giving safety advice.

The site manager said: “We heard it and felt it, and there were witnesses who came into the shop afterwards.

“The fire service cleared the area and went up onto the roof with heat guns, they found a patch of heat but no fire.

“We are waiting for structural engineers to examine it further and the area is cordoned off. You can't be too careful and safety is our highest priority.”

He said the station was previously struck by lightning in January, which hit the canopy.

BBC weather said Bournemouth Airport recorded 15.6mm of rain in the preceding hour from a thunderstorm, with 13mm falling in just 20 minutes.

In Christchurch and Hurn, engineers are attending possible faults with traffic light equipment following the earlier storm.