One person was killed and several others suffered minor injuries from a lightning strike in South Carolina on Thursday, officials said.
The person who was killed was under a tree at Lawshe Plantation in Georgetown County when the lightning hit, according to Georgetown County Fire and EMS officials. The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the area at the time of the strike.
“I was chilling there in the house and the next thing I knew there was someone banging there on the door,” Edward Williams told Florence, South Carolina, ABC affiliate WPDE. “And I was just thinking like, ‘I’m sure everyone is out of the river by now.’ It was a little kid in a panic that said a bunch of people got struck by lightning and he wanted me to call 911.”
The victims were all taken to Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital.
This is the tree that was struck by lighting killing one person & injuring two others. I spoke with the man who called 9-1-1. He said he had no internet or phone service..then all the sudden it went online just long enough for him to call for help. He calls it divine intervention pic.twitter.com/lFLy9ozBs1
— Sydney Glenn (@SydneyGlennTV) July 4, 2019
Ryan Gamble, 44, from Georgetown County, was hospitalized in critical condition and later died, officials said.
In addition to the death, Tidelands Health told WPDE it had admitted eight people in fair condition, with three being treated and released.
One person who was not seriously injured told WPDE that they were swimming at the time and left the water and were under a tree when the lightning strike happened.
“We were in the water — a storm came fast,” Billie Camlin told WPDE. “We couldn’t get back and it was either sit in the rain and then the lightning hit and it got the tree and then it hit every one of us.”