Monday, May 25, 2009

Four hikers are injured by lightning on the Appalachian Trail in New Jersey.

Rescuers in Warren County are working to remove the last of four hikers injured tonight when lightning struck nearby during a severe thunderstorm in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

Three had been removed from the Appalachian Trail in Worthington State Forest by 7:30 p.m.; a fourth hiker with a head wound had yet to be taken off the mountain, said Deb Nordeen, a public information officer with the National Park Service.

Rescuers reached the group at 6:15 p.m., about an hour after the National Park Service's emergency communications center received a report of the lightning strike.

"They were not directly struck by lightning," Nordeen said. "Lightning apparently hit the ground near them and they subsequently received injuries."

Nordeen said she was uncertain of the extent of the injuries or the ages of those involved.

They were about a mile south of Sunfish Pond in Hardwick Township, which is about two to three miles from the Pennsylvania line.

Hope everybody recovers well.

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