Lightning Burns 23 Children at Boy Scouts Camp in NH

On Monday, June 24, 2013, with a crack of thunder and a flash of lightning, 23 children’s lives were impacted in an instant. A lightning bolt struck a tree roughly 50ft. from their camp lean-to shelter, resulting in burns and related injuries among 23 Scouts, aged 12-16. In addition, 3 adults who were with the Scouts were also injured.

Credit: SolitudeFields via Flickr

Credit: SolitudeFields via Flickr

Fortunately, none of the injuries were life-threatening and most were minor, with all but 2 Scouts being released from local hospitals today. The lightning struck during a big evening thunderstorm just outside Belmont, NH at Camp Bell, one of two camps at the Griswold Scout Reservation. Read more here

Credit: hans s via Flickr - shows what a lightning strike can do to tree

Credit: hans s via Flickr – shows what a lightning strike can do to tree

Only WeatherBug-Earth Networks was able to detect and monitor this charged storm system through our Total Lightning Network, the largest lightning detection network in the world. The strike that caused injuries struck at 7:28pm. Our network started detecting a build up of lightning in the vicinity at 6:49pm… a 39 minute lead time! Below you’ll see what our network saw:

6:49 PM - First in-cloud lightning strike (magenta) is detected within 10 Miles of Camp Bell – 28 minutes prior to injuries.

6:49 PM – First in-cloud lightning strike (magenta) is detected within 10 Miles of Camp Bell – 39 minutes prior to injuries.

7:10 PM - Cloud-to-ground lightning strikes (yellow) and in-cloud lightning continue in the direction of Camp Bell.

7:10 PM – Cloud-to-ground lightning strikes (yellow) and in-cloud lightning continue in the direction of Camp Bell.

7:15 PM - Cloud-to-ground lightning strikes intensify and continue towards camp – now within 4 miles.

7:15 PM – Cloud-to-ground lightning strikes intensify and continue towards camp – now within 4 miles.

7:21 PM - Cloud-to-ground lightning is detected less than a mile away from the camp – 7 minutes prior to injuries.

7:21 PM – Cloud-to-ground lightning is detected less than a mile away from the camp – 7 minutes prior to injuries.

7:28 PM – A cloud-to-ground strike 500-600 yards from the camp; likely cause of injuries to 23 scouts.

7:28 PM – A cloud-to-ground strike 500-600 yards from the camp; likely cause of injuries to 23 scouts.

Total Lightning Throughout Event

Total Lightning Throughout Event

Watch a video from the WeatherBug team showing the lightning strikes detected by our Total Lightning Network as they happened:

For lightning safety tips, read our Lightning Safety 101 – Knowing Before is Half the Battle post.

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