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Lightning strike at US golf event leaves six injured

The five ambulances streamed into East Lake across the entrance of the driving range to the 16th hole.

A spectator is taken to an ambulance after a lightning strike (John Amis/AP)
A spectator is taken to an ambulance after a lightning strike (John Amis/AP)

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press

Six people were injured when lightning struck a 60-foot pine tree at a US golf event, showering the area with debris, Atlanta police said.

The third round of the season-ending PGA Tour event had been suspended for about 30 minutes because of storms in the area, and fans were instructed to seek shelter.

The strike hit the top of the tree just off the 16th tee and shattered the bark all the way to the bottom.

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Spectators are tended to after a lightning strike on the course (John Amis/AP)

Brad Uhl, from Atlanta, was among those crammed under a hospital tent to the right of the 16th hole that was open to the public.

“There was just a big explosion and then an aftershock so strong you could feel the wind from it,” Mr Ulh said after the last of the ambulances pulled out of the golf course.

“It was just a flash out of the corner of the eye. It was raining and everyone was huddled near the tree.”

Mr Uhl said the people on the ground were moving around before the ambulances arrived.

Atlanta Police spokesman James H White III said five men and one female juvenile had sought shelter beneath a tree. Lightning struck the tree and all six were injured.

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

Ambulances streamed into the private club about six miles east of Atlanta, where 30 players are competing for the FedEx Cup.

The players already had been taken into the clubhouse before lightning hit, and before long East Lake was hit with a ground-shaking clap of thunder.

The PGA Tour cancelled the rest of golf on Saturday, with the round to resume at 8am on Sunday, followed by the final round.

PA

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