Lightning is a bigger killer in the United States than hurricanes or tornadoes.
It takes an average of 67 lives each year, according to the National Weather Service, which adds that lightning deaths and injuries peak during summer, whith the combination of lightning flashes and outdoor summertime activities. Two-thirds of all lightning strikes in the U.S. occur in June, July and August.
Over the weekend, almost 30 members of a family attending an annual reunion in Sugarcreek, Pa., outside Pittsburgh, were knocked over like dominoes when lightning struck a tree under which they had sought shelter.
The most seriously injured was 12-year-old David Rogan, who was knocked unconscious and stopped breathing for a while. His cousin, a nurse, and paramedics were able to revive him with CPR. David is at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh in critical but stable condition.
Family member Tammy Coon, says, "There was a large ball of light, and at the same time a huge, huge explosion. People just went to the ground. Some were thrown out of chairs. Some were knocked backwards."
The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm points out that it was raining off and on in the area, but guests didn't appear to think they were in a serious storm, and they didn't even hear thunder.
1 / 2
Copyright 2005 CBS. All rights reserved.