Construction Worker Killed, Another Hospitalized After Being Hit By Lightning

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PEMBROKE PINES (CBSMiami) – One construction worker has died and another was hospitalized after being struck by lightning on Tuesday.

According to fire rescue, the men were laying rebar for the new Pines City Center at 103rd Avenue and Pines Blvd. when they were hit at around 1:30 p.m.

“His injuries were pretty significant. It appears it might have been a direct hit,” said Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue Chief Ruben Troncoso.

Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue told CBS4’s Ted Scouten the man who died was 34 years old and went into cardiac arrest after the strike. Coworkers had to perform CPR on the job site.

“One of the medics on scene reported that he noticed an entrance and exit wound which also can signify a direct hit, but it can also mean that it ricocheted off a metal object,” explained Chief Troncoso.

The second was in the vicinity when the lightning struck.  His injuries were less serious.

“He was complaining, if I’m not mistaken of some hip pain. So it looked like he might have had something on the left side struck, from the lightning,” Troncoso said.

Fire rescue took that worker to Memorial Regional in Hollywood.

William Kelley, a former firefighter who lives nearby the Pines City Center Project, said he heard the lightning.

“It was crackling,” he said. “It was sizzling. Very distinct. I knew it was bad and it was close by.”

Authorities have not identified the two workers.

A spokesman for Pine City Center released a statement, which read:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two construction workers involved in today’s unfortunate accident. The matter is being reviewed by the proper authorities and the contractor on-site is cooperating in that process.”

Kelley said he hopes everyone takes a lesson about lightning from this tragedy.

“People need to take cover and get indoors,” he said. “It’s nothing to fool around with.”

More from Ted Scouten
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