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24 Injured When Lightning Hits Pavilion

July 2, 1990

KINGWOOD, W.Va. (AP) _ Lightning struck a pavilion where members of a hunting club huddled for shelter during a Sunday thunderstorm, and 24 people were injured, at least four critically, officials said.

The 25 members of the Kingwood Pike Coon Hunters Club had been holding bow and arrow target practice and sought refuge from torrential rains that swept the area about 80 miles south of Pittsburgh, said Ed Turnley, a Reedsville Volunteer Fire Department member.

A bolt of lightning struck a wooden support post on the tin-roofed pavilion, and it burst into splinters, he said.

″It was kind of a state of confusion. People were scattered everywhere,″ Turnley said. All but one of the injured were conscious when rescue workers arrived, he said.

The injured were taken to two hospitals in nearby Morgantown, Turnley said. The four in critical condition included 13-year-old David McDonald and 12- year-old Ronald Robinson Jr. Both boys were from Morgantown.

Two others, including 8-year-old Brian Plum of Dellslow, were in good condition, while four others were in fair condition and four in stable condition. Eight others were treated and released and no status report was available for the two others.

The victims complained of chest pains, burns and other ailments associated with electrical shock, said nursing supervisor Tammy Henderson at Monongalia General Hospital.

Thunderstorms, hail and heavy winds raked portions of northern and eastern West Virginia, knocking out power to 1,000 homes and business, officials said.

″There were trees and power lines down all over the place,″ said Gary Shaver, a dispatcher for the Preston County Sheriff’s Department. ″A tree fell on a trailer and several trees fell onto roads.″

″It’s been really bad up here. We’ve had trees falling through lines, trees uprooted, lightning. We have some very tired linemen,″ she said.

Barbour County, south of Kingwood, got an inch of rain in a 15-minute downpour, said Barbour County Sheriff’s Department dispatcher J.R. Carman.

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