Officials at Pennsylvania’s Pocono Raceway say one person is dead and nine are injured after a lightning strike in the parking lot behind the grandstand after a NASCAR race.
Pocono officials say two people were taken to hospitals in critical condition after Sunday’s lightning strike.
Track president Brandon Igdalsky confirms that one of them later died at Pocono Medical Center.
“Unfortunately, a member of our raceway family here, a fan, has passed away,” Igdalasky said.
The Pocono Record news reports the fan killed was a 41-year-old man who was found leaning against his car shortly after a cloud-to-ground lightning strike, according to the Monroe County Coroner Bob Allen.
Track vice president Bob Pleban says five people were treated at the scene. Three others were hospitalized with moderate or minor injuries.
“Our heartfelt thoughts and best wishes to those who were injured. And our condolences to the loved ones of the person who was deceased,” Pleban said.
Pleban says it’s not clear if all 10 were actually struck by lightning. It’s unknown whether one or multiple lightning strikes occurred.
The race was called because of the rain and thunderstorms that were moving into the area, with 98 of the 160 scheduled laps completed.
The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Monroe County including the race track area at 4:12 p.m. EDT as intense storms neared the area.
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOUNT HOLLY,NJ
412 PM EDT SUN AUG 5 2012
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MOUNT HOLLY NJ HAS ISSUED A
* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR
NORTHERN BERKS COUNTY IN EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA
LEHIGH COUNTY IN EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF ALLENTOWN
NORTHAMPTON COUNTY IN EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA
CARBON COUNTY IN NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF LEHIGHTON
MONROE COUNTY IN NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF MOUNT POCONO
* UNTIL 530 PM EDT
* AT 409 PM EDT, NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A LINE OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THESE STORMS WERE WERE LOCATED ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM NEAR WILKES-BARRE TO CONYNGHAM TO TOWER CITY AND MOVING EAST AT 30 MPH.
August along with June are historically the second most dangerous months for lightning strikes. July is number one.
Twenty people have now been killed by lightning strikes so far this year including the unborn child of a woman who was nine months pregnant when she was struck and killed.