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Lightning strikes 4 men in St. Louis park as severe weather rocks region

Written by on July 21, 2020

Four men were injured over the weekend after they were struck by lightning while at a park in St. Louis, Mo., according to officials.

The St. Louis Fire Department said the incident happened around 8 p.m. in Marquette Park, located in the city’s Dutchtown neighborhood.

Fire officials said on Twitter all four were rushed to area hospitals after being electrocuted, with one person in critical condition. Severe thunderstorms were moving through the area at the time.

LIGHTNING SAFETY: THESE ARE THE ACTIVITIES LINKED TO THE MOST DEATHS

A neighbor who witnessed the incident told FOX2 a lightning bolt struck one man directly and the others were impacted by the force.

Four men were injured over the weekend after they were struck by lightning while at a park in St. Louis, according to officials.

Four men were injured over the weekend after they were struck by lightning while at a park in St. Louis, according to officials. (iStock)

She said all four fell to the ground but two eventually were able to stand up and begin performing CPR on the one who was directly hit.

Aber Ordonez told KMOV-TV he and a group of others were playing soccer at the park before the storm rolled in, and the bolt was so powerful it hit the side of his face before knocking his shoes off.

Ordonez told KMOV-TV his 28-year-old brother, Noe Ordonez, still remains in the hospital.

“His heart is beating just a little bit, very slowly,” he said.

LIGHTNING DEATHS DROP ‘DRAMATICALLY’ OVER 2 DECADES ACROSS US, BUT DANGER STILL LINGERS

The state of Missouri is among the top 10 states with the highest number of lightning fatalities from 2010 to 2019, with 10 deaths recorded. So far in 2020 there have been eight deaths, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

A breakdown of lightning fatalities across the U.S. from 2010 to 2019.

A breakdown of lightning fatalities across the U.S. from 2010 to 2019. (National Lightnight)

Between 2006 and 2019, a review of some 418 fatal lightning strikes found that 62 percent of deaths were linked to leisure activities.

A breakdown of lightning fatalities by activity from 2006 through 2019.

A breakdown of lightning fatalities by activity from 2006 through 2019. (Courtesy Lightning Safety Council)

Fishing has accounted for 40 of those deaths, while being at the beach, camping, and farming or ranching make up the largest portion of deaths, according to data reviewed by the National Lightning Safety Council (NLSC).

John Jensenius, a lightning safety specialist with the National Lightning Safety Council (NLSC), told Fox News last month there’s a pattern to most of those.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE WEATHER COVERAGE FROM FOX NEWS

Activities where people may be outside and not know if a storm is approaching when they are camping or fishing because they are using a motor on a boat that drowns out the sound of thunder are factors to consider.

If someone is at the beach, the sound of the surf may also drown out the distant rumbles of thunder.

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“The key is if there’s any threat at all, rumble of thunder or what looks like a threatening sky, you need to be able to get into a safe place very quickly,” he said.

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