PD: Two people were near tree when it was struck by lightning - WFSB 3 Connecticut

PD: Two people were near tree when it was struck by lightning

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A couple was near a tree in West Haven when it was struck by a tree. (WFSB) A couple was near a tree in West Haven when it was struck by a tree. (WFSB)
WEST HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

Fire crews in West Haven said they responded to reports of possibly two people having been struck by lightning.

Medical and fire department crews responded to the area of Oak Street Beach in West Haven.

Police officials said a male and female, ages 50 and 45 respectively, were walking on Oak Grove adjacent to a bike path trying to get out of a storm moving through the area.

When they walked past a tree that was struck by lightning, the two also received the energy transfer.

"When lightning hits an object, or goes through an object like a tree or something else, then there is energy, electricity that transmits through that object so it is likely that if they were near the tree that was hit, they actually felt some of the force from the lightning. The actual electricity that was transmitted," said Dr. Andy Ulrich, of Yale New Haven Hospital.

He said you don't have to actually be hit by lightning to be seriously injured.

The most important thing is to know what to do if lightning is in the area:

  • If outside, seek refuge in a building, not a porch or gazebo or go to a car, but roll up the windows
  • If inside, avoid taking baths, showers or using sinks 
  • Do not use electronic equipment
  • Stay inside for 30 minutes after you last see lightning or hear thunder
  • If caught outside in open area, crouch down in a ball-like position with head tucked.

Police said both were transported to area hospitals and are stable.

Just before 6 p.m. there were a little over 2,000 United Illuminating customers without power. At about 10:20 p.m. there were only 23 outages reported.

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