Four People Treated After Lightning Strike Discharged from Hospital

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

PORTAGE, Mich. (AP) -- Four of seven people treated at Kalamazoo hospitals after lightning struck a park have been discharged, and the other three were listed in good condition Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service confirmed Wednesday that a tornado was responsible for heavy damage at a turkey farm in Allegan County the day before.
One of the seven people hurt in the lightning strike suffered cardiac arrest when lightning struck in Westfield Park in Portage on Tuesday.
Pablo Soria, 33; Fernando Aguirre, 22; and Oscar Garcia, 20, were listed in good condition, and two children had been treated and released from Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, said spokeswoman Debbie Pawlicki.
Two other victims, who were taken to Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, were treated and released, spokesman Lew Tysman said Wednesday.
Portage Fire Chief Randolph Lawton said several others in the park may have sought their own medical treatment.
A number of adults and kids were in the park when the lightning struck, and some were playing soccer, Lawton said.
The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Kalamazoo County just after 6 p.m., about 40 to 45 minutes before the lightning strike.
Lawton said lightning tends to strike the tallest object in an area, and that could be a person.
"I don't know, but if you're a tall guy in the middle of a soccer field, you might be the tallest object there," the chief said.
Meanwhile, the weather service said it was surveying parts of northern Allegan County on Wednesday to determine whether a tornado or high winds caused damage there.
"They (are) driving around and also looking at the radar images from last night," meteorologist Nathan Jeruzal told The Grand Rapids Press. "They'll be looking at the debris and the pattern of how it was thrown."
Tuesday's tornado tore apart buildings at DeBoer Turkey Farm in Allegan County, causing an estimated $1 million in damage. Most of the turkeys survived.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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