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More than a dozen soldiers hospitalized following lightning strike at Fort Jackson

By Chaffin Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer
July 13, 2018, 8:43:18 AM EDT

A lightning strike sent 15 soldiers to the hospital in Columbia, South Carolina, on Thursday. The National Weather Service in Columbia confirmed the strike hit near Fort Jackson during a training exercise.

The Fort Jackson Public Affairs Office said the lightning strike happened in a field where close to 200 soldiers were conducting training around 3:45 p.m.

army fort jackson lightning strike

In this photo taken Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016 a U.S. Army recruit is instructed by a drill sergeant, right, during live-fire marksmanship training at Fort Jackson, S.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

The soldiers were taken to the hospital as a precaution. They have been discharged from the hospital with no injuries.

According to Fox Carolina, the soldiers were underneath a lightning-proof structure 50 to 60 meters from the location of the strike and felt it.

WACH Fox 57 reports none of the soldiers were directly struck by lightning.

A 39-year-old man was struck and killed on July 10, in Lake Worth, Florida. He and his father were cutting branches in a residential area when lightning struck a nearby tree. The father was injured in the incident.

Based on the past 10 years, Florida averages five lightning fatalities for the entire year. The incident in Lake Worth was the sixth lightning death in Florida this year, and the 13th United States lightning fatality this year.

M-F Lightning Deaths 2008-2018.png

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Those who work outdoors for a living should remember to wait at least 30 minutes until the last clap of thunder is heard before returning to work.

If you can’t make it into an indoor shelter, there are several safety tips if you’re caught outside in a thunderstorms.

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