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Lightning strikes fans at Pocono raceway NASCAR event
One person was killed and nine others were injured after lightning struck during a NASCAR event at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA, reports ESPN.
Fans were gathered to watch Sunday's Sprint Cup race, which was called off because of the storms with 62 laps remaining.
Track spokesman Bob Pleban told ESPN that nine of the fans, including the fatality, were injured when lighting struck the parking lot behind the main grandstand. The other injury resulted from another strike near Gate 3 between Turns 1 and 2.
President Brandon Igdalsky told The Washington Post that two people were taken to local hospitals in critical condition. Igdalsky said one of the victims later died at Pocono Medical Center in Stroudsburg. The name and gender of the victim has not been released.
“Unfortunately, a member of our raceway family here, a fan, has passed away,” he told the paper.
ESPN is reporting that one other fan is in critical condition at Lehigh Hospital in Allentown while another eight are being treated for minor injuries at local hospitals.
NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon witnessed lighting strikes immediately after winning the race. "I'm pretty sure I know which one it was," he told Yahoo! Sports.
"We were walking down pit road, the umbrellas weren't doing any good, there was a huge, huge crack from lightning. You could tell it was very close. That's the thing that's going to take away from the victory, is the fact that somebody was affected by that."
This is not the first occasion where NASCAR fans have been injured by lightning. Eight people were injured by lightning in 2002 at a race at Daytona International Speedway in Florida. Three fans were again injured in Daytona in 2004, reports Yahoo!, and two people were killed and six injured during a storm at Dover in 1983.