Lightning injures multiple people in Grand Canyon amid monsoonal thunderstorm

Lightning is common in the Grand Canyon that sees an average of 25,000 strikes a year. Grand Canyon NP

Thunderstorms fueled by a monsoonal surge of moisture passed over Grand Canyon National Park on Tuesday afternoon, throwing down lightning strikes and injuring at least four people, park officials said. 

The park responded to an emergency call at 2:50 p.m. at the Bright Angel Trailhead and found a 30-year-old male and 28-year-old female who were struck by lightning and unresponsive.

The male regained consciousness without intervention, while first responders initiated CPR and advanced life-saving interventions on the female, who regained a pulse.

“Due to significant storm activity, air transport was not available, and both patients were transported by ground to the Flagstaff Medical Center,” the park said in a statement. “The female victim is reported to be in stable condition at a regional burn center.”

The names and hometowns of the victims were not released.

They reported that at least two other patients self-transported to the Grand Canyon Clinic with lightning splash injuries.

The National Weather Service issued warnings Tuesday for storm activity, including thunderstorms and flash floods. 

“Scattered showers and thunderstorms in north western and north central Arizona including the Grand Canyon and up towards Page,” the weather service said on Twitter at 2:15 p.m. “Continue to expect coverage throughout this afternoon and into this evening.”

Lightning is common in the Grand Canyon, which sees an average of 25,000 strikes a year, the park said. 

“This lightning strike is a reminder that monsoon season brings not only rain, but dangerous and potentially life-threatening lightning during thunderstorms,” the park said. “Serious injuries and fatalities have occurred at Grand Canyon National Park as a result of lightning strikes. Visitors to the park are reminded that if the sound of thunder follows a lightning flash within 30 seconds or less, they should seek shelter in a building or vehicle or proceed to the nearest bus stop to get on a park shuttle.”

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