3 children injured by lightning in Green Township, New Jersey

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Dr. Sapna Parikh has the story. (WABC)

It was a close call for three kids who were injured during a lightning storm.

It happened at the Great Divide Campground in Newton in southern Sussex County Thursday.

Fortunately, they were not directly hit the lightning and their injuries were minor.

"My heart goes out to those folks, I hope they're OK," said Reema Doradla, a mother.

According to state police, the children were transported to the burn center at St. Barnabas Medical Center. Two of the injured were boys, ages 7 and 16. Information on the 3rd juvenile was not released.

"The electricity can travel through the body, so even if you don't see skin burns you can have heart problems or injuries to muscles," said Dr. Abraham Huong, of St. Barnabas Medical Center.

Burn surgeon Dr. Abraham Huong says they see about 10 lightning victims a year.

"In terms of severity of injuries, we see something that's very minor to someone who's in critical condition," Dr. Huong said.

Hospital officials would not comment on the condition of the three children. They reportedly suffered burn injuries, but were not struck directly by the lighting.

About half of all lightning injuries are caused by ground currents.

A typical lightning bolt injects about 30,000 amps into the earth. How far that current spreads varies, but the closer you are to the direct strike the stronger the current.

Some communities have lightning detection systems that warn when a storm is 10 minutes away, but otherwise when thunder roars go indoors.

Eyewitness News caught up with a family enjoying their annual 4th of July picnic at a local park.

"Worst case scenario, we'll go home as long as it's not lightning and pouring on us, we'll go home," said Ankim Shah, a father.

If there was lightning there, the safest place is not the open space, or under the trees, not an open shelter, but inside their cars as they hopefully head back home.

Troopers from the New Jersey State Police Sussex barracks in Augusta, which polices Green Township, responded to the incident.
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healthlightningchildren injurieshealthSussex
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