18 soldiers injured by lightning strike at Fort Bragg

(Courtesy of WNCN)

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WNCN) – A total of 18 soldiers were injured by a lightning strike while training at Fort Bragg Wednesday night.

The soldiers were injured around 8:10 p.m. after completing a live-fire exercise, Master Sgt. Patrick Malone said.

Lightning struck near the soldiers and a lightning drill was conducted. The leader then checked the soldiers for possible strike.

After the check, the soldiers were medically evacuated. As of Thursday afternoon, 10 of the 18 are still in the hospital.

Eighteen soldiers were examined for injuries while 15 were held overnight at Womack Army Medical Center.

Eight have been discharged from Womack, Malone said.

One was taken to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill for cardiac monitoring, Malone said.

As of 12:50 p.m. Thursday, eight of the injured Paratroopers have been treated and released. Nine remain admitted to Womack Army Medical Center and are expected to be released within the next 24-48 hours. One Paratrooper was transferred to UNC Medical Center for precautionary specialized monitoring, but is in stable condition.

The Paratroopers were participating in on-going live fire exercises and had been in the field since Tuesday morning. At the time of the lightning strike, the Paratroopers were transitioning from day to night live fire iterations, according to the 82nd Airborne Division Public Affairs Office.

Soldiers from the 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division were taking part of the training when the injuries occurred.

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