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Eight injured in Clearwater Beach lightning strike

Tampa Bay Times logo Tampa Bay Times 7/22/2019 By Kirby Wilson, Tampa Bay Times
a group of people on a beach with a city in the background: The injured were on the beach at the time of the strike, near Frenchy's Rockaway Grill, police said. © [Times files]/TNS/Tampa Bay Times/TNS The injured were on the beach at the time of the strike, near Frenchy's Rockaway Grill, police said.

Eight people were injured when lightning struck Clearwater Beach Sunday afternoon.

One of those affected, a male in his 40s, was struck directly and suffered cardiac arrest, according to a news release from the city of Clearwater. He's currently in critical condition.

Five of the eight were taken to area hospitals. Four, including the man who was directly struck, went to Morton Plant Hospital.

The injured were on the beach at the time of the strike, near Frenchy's Rockaway Grill, the release said.

The lightning struck at about 12:40 p.m., ten minutes after beach lifeguard left their stations because of the bad weather, the release said.

Greg Dee, a Tampa meteorologist, tweeted that the storm that hit Clearwater Beach still posed a threat to beachgoers as of 2:30 p.m.

"All beaches in Pinellas County need to be cleared," he tweeted. "You are within striking range of lightning. This storm is dangerous and (has already) injured people on Clearwater Beach."

This story will be updated when more information becomes available.

Contact Kirby Wilson at kwilson@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8793. Follow @kirbywtweets.

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©2019 the Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.)

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