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IFD: Lightning strikes, injures 3; 1 goes into cardiac arrest

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Three people were injured after lightning struck nearby, according to the Indianapolis Fire Department.

It happened on the property of Park Tudor School, near North College Avenue just south of 73rd Street.

IFD said three workers paving a corner of the parking lot at the school sought shelter underneath a tree.

Lightning struck nearby, knocking all three down and causing one of them to go into cardiac arrest.

An officer with Park Tudor began CPR. Medics arrived, shocking the man twice, leading to him regaining his pulse and being resuscitated.

“Upon reaching the downed worker Park Tudor Police Officer William Hagy assessed, placed an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on the patient and shocked him once,” said an email statement from Rita Reith of IFD. “He established and continued CPR. Upon their arrival, IFD and IEMS (Indianapolis EMS) assumed patient care from Officer Hagy and shocked the patient two more times. Due to the quick actions of Officer Hagy and the efforts of first responders, the patient was resuscitated and had documented pulses within 12 minutes.”

IFD said the actions from Hagy show it’s important for everyone to know CPR. If you’re interested, we have details here.

All three victims were transported to St. Vincent hospital. The man who went into cardiac arrest is awake and talking to doctors.

The other two had minor injuries.

Jerry Dunlevy, who owns Broad Ripple Tree Service, examined the struck tree. He didn’t see what happened but said even though this wasn’t a powerful bolt, standing under a tree is not smart during severe weather.

“It’s going to strike the highest wet thing, generally speaking. Tree is the highest thing around. So it attracts the lightning commonly,” he said. “It goes to the path of least resistance, so if a human being is next to the tree, it’s going to transfer more than likely.”

Even though many know not to stand under a tree during severe weather, many still do.

“If they don’t have shelter close by. It was just a brief storm,” he said. “It’s pretty common even though you’re not supposed to do it.”

So far this year the National Weather Service said there have been 11 deadly strikes while there were 39 last year.

A spokesperson for Park Tudor School said there were athletic teams practicing when the lightning struck, but they were already inside because of the rain.

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