Meteorologists have been called in to explain what else might have happened, the extra factor that might have come on top of the lightning.
The accident took place in a turbulent area along the equator known as the Intertropical Convergence zone.
The zone has long been feared by sailors and aviators. In French, it is called the "pot au noir", meaning the murky cauldron.
According to meteorologist Pierre Lasnais, the zone "is prone to storms and lightning, but also to mini-cyclonic phenomena, which create extremely strong up currents, as well as hail stones that can be bigger than tennis-balls".
"It's possible for a plane to be exposed to lightning, and at the same to be caught in an up current which can reach speeds of 200 km/h," he says.
"You can imagine the effect that has on a plane - complete depressurisation of course, almost uncontrollable," he said.