Lightning kills one, injures 4

July 27, 2009 3:06:31 PM PDT
Lightning killed one man in Newark and injured four others Sunday night.According to police, four men had gathered under a tree at 250 Mount Vernon Place, seeking shelter from the storm. The men were rushed to UMDNJ after the strike. Twenty-two-year-old Isaac Coello-Pineda of Newark was pronounced dead, while 28 year-old Hermon Delgado, 20-year-old Elmer Delgado, and Naun Delgado are in stable condition. The victims are all cousins.

In a separate incident, a cricket player was critically injured when he was struck by lightning in Brooklyn.

Teammates say they were running for cover during the storm when Patrick Gibson was struck.

They rushed to help Gibson, whom they described as motionless, barely breathing and badly burned. His clothing was left in tatters.

They prayed as paramedics placed the 41-year-old construction worker in the ambulance.

According to the National Lightening Safety Institute, there are certain precautions that must be taken during a lightening storm when outdoors.

--First and foremost, if you can see the storm, flee it and move to a safe location. A large, permanent building or metal vehicle is best.

-- Avoid: water, high ground, open spaces, all metal objects including electric wires, fences, machinery, motors, power tools, etc. Unsafe places include underneath canopies, small picnic or rain shelters, or near trees. Where possible, find shelter in a substantial building or in a fully enclosed metal vehicle such as a car, truck or a van with the windows completely shut.

--If lightning is striking nearby when you are outside, you should: A. Crouch down. Put feet together. Place hands over ears to minimize hearing damage from thunder. B. Avoid proximity (minimum of 15 ft.) to other people.

-- If indoors, avoid water. Stay away from doors and windows. Do not use the telephone. Take off head sets. Turn off, unplug, and stay away from appliances, computers, power tools and TV sets. Lightning may strike exterior electric and phone lines, inducing shocks to inside equipment.

-- Suspend activities for 30 minutes after the last observed lightning or thunder.

-- An injured person doesn't carry an electrical charge and can be handled safely. Apply First Aid procedures to a lightning victim if you are qualified to do so. Call 911 or send for help immediately.

For more information, visit the National Lightening Safety Institute at




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