12/22/2014

12 hurt by lightning at Tampa game [VIDEO]

By Maria Gomez

12 hurt by lightning at Tampa game [VIDEO], Tampa Fire Rescue responded after a dozen people were injured by an indirect lightning strike at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The lightning struck just after the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Green Bay Packers concluded on Sunday, hitting an antenna on an SUV parked outside the stadium. None of the wounded are believed to have been struck directly, but a dozen people suffered various injuries, none of which were fatal, a spokesman for Tampa Fire Rescue said.

"It just got really bright and white and then we heard the sound right afterwards and then we looked over and there was smoke billowing up from the ground," one fan said.

"Streak of lightning. Bang," Jeanette Kudick said.

Tampa Fire Rescue dispatch received a call at 4:11 p.m. reporting a lightning strike at lot 14 outside of Raymond James Stadium. Multiple TFR rescue units responded to the location as well as TFR paramedics who were working at the stadium as part of the medic team.

Upon arrival, rescue units treated and transported seven patients to nearby St. Joseph's Hospital in stable condition. An additional 4 or 5 people stated that they would go to the hospital on their own.

According to data compiled by the University of Florida, Florida is regarded as the lightning strike capital of the country, with 100 days of storms per year. The areas of the peninsula most at risk stretch north from St. Augustine down to Lake Okeechobee in the south. Tampa is directly in the middle of that zone.

The National Weather Service notes that lightning kills an average of 51 Americans annually, more than any other weather phenomenon.

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