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44 Army Rangers struck by lightning?

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Just saw this story on CNN. 44 Army Rangers, trainees, struck by lightning in Florida. "

 
 
 
 

The odds of 44 Army Rangers being struck by lightning? Not so low

By Ben Brumfield, CNN

 

Updated 10:40 PM ET, Fri August 14, 2015

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Story highlights

  • 11 Rangers went to hospital after lightning struck
  • Florida is prime lightning territory with the highest lightning strike death rate in the U.S.
 

(CNN)When lightning struck 44 Army Rangers this week in Florida, leaving 11 in the hospital, jaws must have dropped. What are the odds of that?

The answer: Very low in most places, but not so, so low in Florida.

The rough chance of being bolted by lightning in a lifetime is about 1 in 12,000, but the odds discriminate by region.

Lightning is not partial to touching down on the West Coast, but it loves the South, particularly Florida, NASA says. Local researchers concur. "Florida ranks No. 1 in the number of deaths due to lightning," says the University of Florida.

 

Rangers' lightning exercise

 

But before we get to that, let's recap what happened to the Rangers:

Ironically, they were training near Eglin Air Force Base outside Pensacola on how to avoid being injured by lightning, or "conducting lightning protection protocols," when they were electrified. The group had completed six of the 10 days in their training program when it happened.

Originally 17 were hospitalized, and late Wednesday, 11 of them -- nine students and two instructors -- were still in the hospital.

 

Hmm. Ok, it was in Florida, but still, well... natural causes. At the least I'd say their training was ineffective?

Then again, it could be new HARP tech and they were testers? not to make light, hope they all recover!

 

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