Lightning strike kills 1 and injures 18 in Fourth gathering

LAKELAND, Fla. – Officials say one person has been killed in a lightning strike at a Fourth of July gathering in central Florida and 18 others were taken to hospitals.

Polk County spokeswoman Cindy Rodriguez said at least 80 people had gathered outside a Lakeland church on Saturday when lightning hit a wooden barn nearby.

Emergency crews transported victims to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, a hospital and a medical center. Authorities did not immediately identify the person killed nor provide details on the condition and identity of the injured.

According to the National Weather Service, there are about 1.5 million lightning strikes a year in Florida.

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