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Seven people struck by lightning and four injured while hiking North Carolina’s Grandfather Mountain

Seven people were impacted by lightning strikes on a hiking trail in North Carolina that left four people injured.  

Lightning struck MacRae Peak on Grandfather Mountain, located in the northern part of the state, at 12.05pm Friday, as a storm passed over it abruptly. 

One victim had fallen and had to be airlifted to a hospital with a head injury, while another suffered from burns. 

The other victims of the strike had minor injuries, according to the National Weather Service. 

Seven people were impacted by lightning strikes while hiking near MacRae Peak (above in a file photo) at Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina on Friday afternoon 

Lightning struck MacRae Peak at 12.05pm Friday, as a storm passed over it abruptly. Pictured: Satellite image of the storm in the northern part of the state

Lightning struck MacRae Peak at 12.05pm Friday, as a storm passed over it abruptly. Pictured: Satellite image of the storm in the northern part of the state

A representative from Grandfather Mountain reported that four people suffered injuries from the nearby lightning strike, but all seven on the mountain were able to evacuate on foot. 

Thunderstorms typically occur due to rapidly rising warm air and moisture. With rising temperatures and global warming, it provides the perfect environment for storms and lightning.  

Linville had a high of 79 degrees today with scattered thunderstorms throughout.  

The National Weather Service has reported six deaths this year from lightning strikes, with the youngest victim being 15 in Georgia.

Lightning kills an average of 49 people per year with Florida and Texas having the highest number of lightning fatalities in the country. 

Getting to MacRae Peak is not for the faint of heart. The hikers had to descend rocks and climb over boulders and up ladders to exit the park after the lightning strike

Getting to MacRae Peak is not for the faint of heart. The hikers had to descend rocks and climb over boulders and up ladders to exit the park after the lightning strike 

Earlier this week, a 13-year-old boy died after being struck by lightning on Thursday afternoon at Orchard Beach in New York City, police reported.

Carlos Ramos was among seven people rushed to the hospital after a lightning bolt struck the Bronx beach at 5.20pm.  

Ramos suffered cardiac arrest after the strike, according to officials, and was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center. He died Friday morning from his injuries.

The six other victims are expected to survive. 

Thirteen-year-old Carlos Ramos has died after being struck by lightning on Thursday afternoon at Orchard Beach in the Bronx (pictured), police reported

Thirteen-year-old Carlos Ramos has died after being struck by lightning on Thursday afternoon at Orchard Beach in the Bronx (pictured), police reported

Seventeen people died from lightning incidents in the US in 2020, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Seventeen people died from lightning incidents in the US in 2020, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Eric Sandoval told New York Daily News that he was ‘walking on the beach with my family’ when the lightning struck his 13-year-old daughter Stacey.

Sandoval said: ‘It hit my daughter and she went down. I thought she had a heart attack. I went crazy. I was screaming, “Somebody help us! Somebody help us!”‘

He said another beachgoer helped him pump his daughter’s chest until the ambulance arrived, according to the newspaper. 

A 5-year-old, Stefon Harris, also survived the lightning strike. His father, who is also named Stefon, said: ‘I was able to speak with my five-year-old over the phone. He seems like he’s going to be OK.’ 

Fifteen-year-old Miguel Maldonado was also struck. The teen was part of a group of six children and two adults making a trip to the beach that day.

‘They were getting ready to leave the beach and it came, the lightning. They were all struck,’ Alfredo Ferrer, Miguel’s uncle, told the paper.

The lifeguards at Orchard Beach had ordered people out of the water and made announcements to clear the beach before the lightning strike, a spokesperson from the Parks Department said.

The hospitalized victims were all on the sand when the storm arrived. 

Beachgoer Raul Dejesus told NBC 4 New York that the storm ‘came out of nowhere’.

‘Everybody started running to the bathroom and when we were in the bathroom, we kept hearing these thunders. Boom boom boom. We heard screams and yelling and, oh man, somebody got struck,’ he said.

The strike happened the same day an excessive heat warning was put into effect in New York City. The National Weather Service warned of ‘dangerously hot conditions with heat index values up to 105’.

It was 92 degrees out when the storm passed through the Bronx. 

The fatal lightning strike way the latest in a string of incidents to hit the US this summer.

Last week, 37-year-old Nicholas Torchia died after he was struck by lightning while hiking a trail in the Northern California mountains. 

And last month five people were struck while on the beach in Southwest Florida over just a 10-day span.

Two were killed, including Walker Bethune, 17, who died in the hospital from his injuries 11 days after the lightning strike. 

In total, six people have been killed by lightning in the US this year, according to the National Weather Service. 


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