One person is in critical condition and seven others suffered injuries after lightning struck Clearwater Beach, Florida, on Sunday, according to fire rescue officials.
One man in his 40s was “directly hit by lightning” on Sunday afternoon and suffered cardiac arrest, the Clearwater Fire Department says. He is in critical condition.
Thunderstorm approaching- Clearwater Beach, Fl pic.twitter.com/6tK1iOGQFf
— L. L. Eadie (@lindaeadie) July 20, 2019
Three other people were taken to a hospital in Clearwater with non-life-threatening injuries and another person was taken to Tampa General Hospital with burns. Officials say three others refused to be transported to the hospital.
All the people affected by the lighting were in the beach area behind Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill around 12:42 p.m.
Clearwater beach lifeguards left their towers around 12:30 p.m. due to bad weather, minutes before the 911 call came in for the strike, officials say.
The fire department says, “Beachgoers should take cover and go to a safe place when lightning and thunder are present. As a reminder, Clearwater Fire and Rescue uses the phrase: when you hear the roar, go indoor.”