Lightning strike sends 15 to hospitals in Conn.

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June 25, 2012, 6:22 pm
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(NECN: Brian Burnell, North Stonington, Conn.) – Fifteen workers at a Connecticut golf course now know what it’s like to get up close and personal with lightning. The close-call happened Monday at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

The workers had taken shelter in a building on the course when lightning struck close by, very close by.

This is the Lake of Isles golf course near Foxwoods Casino.  

Fifteen workers here found out the hard way that lightning and golf courses don't mix.

Club general manager Archie Cart described what happened.

"This morning at about 9:30, there was a lightning strike on property that impacted 15 associates who were seeking shelter in an enclosed building,” said the Lake of Isles GM. “No one was struck by lightning.  It struck near the building."

The workers were taken to various hospitals including six to Backus in nearby Norwich. One worker we spoke with said they were all in the building when he heard an explosion outside. He described a feeling like a huge amount of pressure being applied. So big it knocked some of the men to the floor. All of them were conscious and alert as they were taken for medical help. They are all expected to be fine.  

"A general physical assessment of the person is done initially and then they look for specific areas of contact with lightning," said Sandee Gelven of Backus Hospital.

The worker we spoke with said at least one of his colleagues has some markings on his ankles from the strike.  

“It’s horrible. I hope everyone's okay,” said Mike Bopp of New York. “We were hitting balls on the driving range.  As soon as it came we ran for cover."

"It's crazy,” said Steve Johnson of Old Lyme, Conn. “We weren't going to go out and play if there's any danger."

It wasn't so much the lightning but the rain that put the kibosh on the rest of the day's activities here at Lake of Isles.  

Tags: lightning, Steve Johnson, storms, hospital, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Brian Burnell, weather stories, north stonington Connecticut, lake of isles golf course, archie cart, sandee felven, backus hospital, mike bopp
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