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Lightning strike near hikers from Utah church youth group sends 7 to hospital

6/27: CBS Evening News


Seven members of a youth group hiking in Utah were transported to hospitals Thursday after lightning struck the ground near them.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints youth group from Salina, Utah, were in the eastern part of Sevier County around 1:45 p.m. when a light rain began.

Officials said the rainstorm caused water to puddle before lightning struck the ground, reports CBS Salt Lake City affiliate KUTV.

 “Approximately 50 youth felt the shock of the lightning,” Sevier County Sheriff Nathan Curtis said in a statement, adding that seven of the young people had “medical concerns due to the electrocution.”

Two had serious symptoms and were flown by helicopter to Primary Children’s Hospital in Lehi, Utah. Five others were transported by ambulances to Sevier Valley Hospital in Richfield and Gunnison Valley Hospital in Gunnison, Curtis said.

None of the injuries were considered life-threatening, according to Curtis, who said the other hikers were returned to their families in Salina, which is 139 miles south of Salt Lake City.