Construction worker hospitalized after possible lightning strike

WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A man had to be airlifted to the hospital, Tuesday afternoon, after he may have been struck by lightning.

According to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, a report went out that a construction worker was struck by lightning while on the roof of a building under construction, along Northwest Seventh Street and 62nd Avenue.

The construction worker was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical but stable condition.

Crews on the scene said they began to evacuate when they realized lightning could be a potential threat, and that was when the construction worker was struck. “We have a meter in the trailer that monitors lightning. It’s one of our safety protocols,” said Mike Peters with Brasfield and Gorrie Contractors. “Lightning had struck in the area.”

Workers at the construction site said they saw their coworker get struck by lightning while working on the seventh floor of the building. “He was conscious and awake and responding to the MS. We stayed back,” Peters said.

Witnesses on the scene said the rain and the lightning made the rescue a tricky one. The worker was on the roof and officials used a basket to retrieve him, which took nearly one hour, due to weather conditions.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief told 7News just how difficult the rescue was. “Obviously, with the construction site, we didn’t have conventional means of getting the patient down. We also encountered a severe thunderstorm with thunder and lightning conditions, as well, which made this a lot more difficult,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Michael Eng. “This was an extremely technical incident, which required technical rescue teams and a lot of ropes and rigging systems in which we could safely lower him down the elevator shaft.”

The victim’s coworkers said they are glad he is alive. “It doesn’t matter who it is, if someone is on our job site, and they’re hurt, our immediate response is to take care of them,” said J.T. Sanders with Brasfield and Gorrie Contractors. “Miami-Dade did a great job. They showed up in minutes, and they had a team of people. A great team that helped get that employee out of the building and safely over to the airport.”

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue released a video of officials transporting the man.

It is unclear if the lightning directly hit the man or close by. No one else was hurt.

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