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1 Army Soldier killed, 9 injured in lightning strike at Georgia military base

Soldiers competing for the title of Best Warrior at the Army Reserve Medical Command's 2016 Best Warrior competition March 9, 2016 at Fort Gordon, Ga. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brian Hamilton)
July 21, 2022

A U.S. Army soldier was killed and nine other soldiers were injured late Wednesday morning after a lightning strike at the range where the soldiers were training at Fort Gordon, Georgia.

In a statement provided to American Military News, Fort Gordon spokesperson Nancy Bourget said the ten soldiers were initially injured in a lightning strike at around 11:10 a.m. on Wednesday at a training area on the base.

“It is with a heavy heart Fort Gordon confirms one of the soldiers injured in the lightning strike this afternoon succumbed to their injuries,” Bourget added.

The name of the deceased soldier has not been released and will be not be provided to the public until next of kin notifications are complete.

Bourget said she did not know the extent of the injuries sustained by the other nine soldiers.

It is not clear if the soldiers were directly struck by lightning or injured by lightning in another manner.

Fort Gordon’s Department of Emergency Services and EMS responded to the scene immediately, ABC News reported.

Anne Bowman, another Fort Gordon spokesperson, said the soldiers were taken to the Dwight David Eisenhower Medical Center at the base for treatment.

On Thursday morning, Fort Gordon had published a lightning safety advisory on its official Facebook page, but later removed it.

“Lightning and flooding threats exist with all storms. Thunderstorms are dangerous storms that can include lightning, create hail, cause flash flooding and tornadoes,” the Facebook post said before it was deleted. “Are you prepared? Talk with your family about how to stay safe during a thunder storm. Knowing what to do and having timely information on weather conditions can make a big difference.”

The deadly lightning strike at Fort Gordon is at least the second incident this year in which U.S. military personnel were injured by lightning.

In May, a U.S. Air Force Airman stationed at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas was injured after lightning struck nearby. Base officials said coworkers of the unidentified Airman called for the base’s emergency services immediately after the strike. The Airman was reported conscious when first responders arrived and completed an initial assessment. The Airman was transported to a nearby hospital to undergo further evaluation and treatment.