Friday 17 January 2020

Irish teen hospitalised as lightning hits tree at US golf event

Moment the lightning struck
Moment the lightning struck

An Irish teenager was injured over the weekened in a lightning strike at a golf tournament in the US.

The victim from Co Tyrone was among six people injured after the bolt struck a tree at the PGA Tour event in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday.

He and four others were taken to hospital and one more was treated at the scene after being injured by flying debris at East Lake Golf Club.

The strike happened during the third round of the tour championship.

A statement from the PGA Tour said the injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

Play was suspended on Saturday but resumed yesterday morning.

"There were six fans injured on site during a lightning strike. Our latest report is that their injuries do not appear to be life-threatening," the PGA said.

It is understood the Irish teen is a 19-year-old from Co Tyrone who was left unconscious.

However, he is not believed to have suffered serious injuries.


The incident happened shortly before 5pm local time near the 16th tee.

Play had been suspended at 4.17pm because of bad weather and there were two lightning strikes 28 minutes later.

"One strike occurred near the maintenance area while another struck a tree near the 16th tee.

"Debris from that strike injured six people," the PGA Tour confirmed

"Emergency medical technicians tended those fans and two others and transported them from the property via ambulance for further medical attention," they added.

A spokesman for the Atlanta Police Department said that five men and one female juvenile had sought shelter beneath the tree that was struck by lightning.

He said they were taken to hospitals for further treatment, all of them alert, conscious and breathing.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed it is aware of the case and is providing consular assistance.

High-profile golfers including Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka were involved in the championship this week.

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