Wednesday, June 28, 2017

1 rebar laying construction worker has died and another was hospitalized after being struck by lightning in Pembroke Pines, FL

Pembroke Pines construction worker dies after lightning strike; 1 injured

Nicole Linsalata

PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) - One of two construction workers who were taken to the hospital after they were struck by lightning in Pembroke Pines has died, officials said.

Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue responded to the scene at the City Center construction site, located at 103rd Avenue and Pines Boulevard, Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Pembroke Pines Fire Department, the victims were working on the Publix that was under construction when they were hit just after 1 p.m.

“It looks like, based on his injuries, if he did not receive a direct hit, he was pretty close,” said Pembroke Pines Fire Chief Ruben Troncoso.

The victims were transported to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood. One of the men was in cardiac arrest while the other was semi-conscious.

Just after 5 p.m., officials confirmed the worker in cardiac arrest died. He appeared to have what looked like an entrance and exit wound from the strike.

7News was also told that there was no rain at the time, just lightning in the distance.

It is elementary that workers and others need to stay away from metal objects when there is lightning outside.  These workers were working near significant amounts of rebar and other construction equipment and they should have stopped work.


PEMBROKE PINES, FL (CBSMiami) – One construction worker has died and another was hospitalized after being struck by lightning on Tuesday.

According to fire rescue, the men were laying rebar for the new Pines City Center at 103rd Avenue and Pines Blvd. when they were hit at around 1:30 p.m.

“His injuries were pretty significant. It appears it might have been a direct hit,” said Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue Chief Ruben Troncoso.

Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue told CBS4’s Ted Scouten the man who died was 34 years old and went into cardiac arrest after the strike. Coworkers had to perform CPR on the job site.

“One of the medics on scene reported that he noticed an entrance and exit wound which also can signify a direct hit, but it can also mean that it ricocheted off a metal object,” explained Chief Troncoso.

The second was in the vicinity when the lightning struck. His injuries were less serious.

“He was complaining, if I’m not mistaken of some hip pain. So it looked like he might have had something on the left side struck, from the lightning,” Troncoso said.

Fire rescue took that worker to Memorial Regional in Hollywood.

William Kelley, a former firefighter who lives nearby the Pines City Center Project, said he heard the lightning.

“It was crackling,” he said. “It was sizzling. Very distinct. I knew it was bad and it was close by.”

Authorities have not identified the two workers.

A spokesman for Pine City Center released a statement, which read:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two construction workers involved in today’s unfortunate accident. The matter is being reviewed by the proper authorities and the contractor on-site is cooperating in that process.”

Kelley said he hopes everyone takes a lesson about lightning from this tragedy. “People need to take cover and get indoors,” he said. “It’s nothing to fool around with.

Lightning Safety Precautions

When thunderstorms approach there are some steps you should take to lower your chance of becoming a lightning strike statistic. These safety procedures are suggested by the National Weather Service:
  • When a thunderstorm threatens, get inside a home or large building, or inside an all-metal (not convertible) vehicle
  • Inside a home, avoid using the telephone, except for emergencies
  • If outside, with no time to reach a safe building or an automobile, follow these rules
  • Do not stand underneath a natural lighting rod such as a tall, isolated tree
  • Avoid projecting above the surrounding landscape as you would do if you were standing on a hilltop, in an open field, on the beach, or fishing from a small boat
  • Get out of and away from open water
  • Get away from tractors and other metal farm equipment
  • Get off of and away from motorcycles, scooters, golf carts and bicycles. Put down golf clubs.
  • Stay away from wire fences, clotheslines, metal pipes, rails and other metallic paths which could carry lightning to you from some distance away.
  • Avoid standing in small isolated sheds or other small structures in open areas.
  • In a forest, seek shelter in a low area under a thick growth of small trees. In open areas, go to a low place such as a ravine or a valley. Be alert for flash floods.
  • If you're hopelessly isolated in a level field of prairie and you feel your hair stand on end - indicating that lightning is about to strike - drop to your knees and bend forward putting your hands on your knees. Do not lie flat on the ground.