Lightning kills one, injures seven in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain park

By Reuters
Saturday, July 12, 2014 10:17 EDT
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A lightning strike killed a woman and injured seven other people on Friday as they hiked in the Rocky Mountain National Park northwest of Denver, a park official said.

The group was at an elevation of 11,000 feet (300 meters) on the Ute Crossing Trail when they were hit by the bolt in the early afternoon, park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson said.

The woman, whose name has not been released, was pronounced dead at the scene, two people were taken by ambulance to a hospital in nearby Estes Park, and five others drove themselves to the medical facility, Patterson said.

Kerrie Hill, spokeswoman for the Estes Park Medical Center, said some of the injured were treated and released, but could not comment on the condition of the others or the extent of their injuries due to patient privacy laws.

National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Leszcynski said radar and satellite imagery showed an isolated storm cell that moved over the area produced several lightning strikes in the park.

Established as a national park in 1915 by President Woodrow Wilson, the mountainous park traverses the Continental Divide and contains the headwaters of the Colorado River.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Sandra Maler)

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