Extreme thunderstorms lashed the UK yesterday possibly claiming the life of a construction worker on the Olympic site.

The Metro reported that a man in his 60s appeared to have slipped from a ladder of his crane as the storm hit the east London site.

An eyewitness said of the man, who sustained head injuries: “He got out of his cab and was going down the crane ladder when he slipped and fell about 9m.”

An inquest will determine whether his fall was due to a medical condition or related to equipment.

A spokeswoman for the Olympic Delivery Authority commented: ”The sympathies of everyone at the ODA and its contractors are with this individual’s family and friends at this very difficult time.”

The storm also caused havoc throughout London and the South east.

Gatwick Airport was forced to suspend flights when one of it’s control towers was struck by lightning and firefighters battled a fire which broke out at a 21-floor tower block in South Bermondsey.

One woman was treated for smoke inhalation.

London Fire Brigade said it was investigating the cause of the blaze but it is widely believed that a lightning bolt was responsible.

Trains in the south-east today were also disrupted by lightning strikes to railway signals.