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Four injured during lightning strike on Bright Angel Trail

Lightning flashes along the cliffs and buttes of Grand Canyon National Park. (Photo/M. Quinn, NPS)

Lightning flashes along the cliffs and buttes of Grand Canyon National Park. (Photo/M. Quinn, NPS)

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. – A lightning strike in Grand Canyon National Park injured four people hiking on the Bright Angel Trail during a monsoonal thunderstorm July 20.

Around 2:50 p.m., the Grand Canyon Communications Center received a report of multiple individuals struck by lightning. A 30-year-old man and 28-year-old woman were initially found unresponsive.

The man regained consciousness without intervention. CPR and advanced life-saving interventions were initiated on the woman, and she regained a pulse. Because of significant storm activity, air transport was not available, and both were transported by ground to the Flagstaff Medical Center. The woman is reported to be in stable condition at a regional burn center.

At least two other patients self-transported to the Grand Canyon Clinic with lightning splash injuries.

The park is reminding the public that monsoon season brings not only rain, but dangerous and potentially life-threatening lightning during thunderstorms. Serious injuries and fatalities have occurred at Grand Canyon National Park as a result of lightning strikes.

Visitors are reminded that if the sound of thunder follows a lightning flash within 30 seconds or less, they should seek shelter in a building or vehicle or proceed to the nearest bus stop to get on a park shuttle. Lightning can strike two points up to 10 miles apart at the same time.

In Grand Canyon National Park, lightning strikes an average of 25,000 times per year.

Information provided by NPS

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