GRAND CANYON, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Multiple people were hurt after being struck by lightning while hiking at the Grand Canyon on Tuesday.
Grand Canyon park officials say they received reports of multiple people being hit by lightning at the Bright Angel Trailhead around 3 p.m. A 30-year-old man and 28-year-old woman were found unconscious. The man woke up a short time later but the woman had to be taken by ambulance to Flagstaff for treatment. At least two other people were also treated at the Grand Canyon clinic for lightning splash injuries.
Monsoon storms can bring dangerous hiking conditions. Park officials say visitors should seek shelter in a building or vehicle within 30 seconds of hearing thunder. They also remind people that lightning can strike two points up-to 10 miles apart at the same time. An estimated 25,000 lightning strikes hit the park every year.
“The most risky place to be is standing right on the rim’s edge. The lightning tends to strike right at the cliff face there, and it also tends to seek out the metal guardrails that we have at the various viewpoints,” Said Kaitlyn Thomas with Grand Canyon Public Affairs.
Thomas said you have to make yourself small if you can't find shelter, but she said you also don't want to lean against any rocks in the canyon because the lightning electricity can go straight through the rock to your body. “It’s best to just crouch as low as you can, put your feet together and take cover while you wait out that storm,” Thomas said.
More safety tips can be found on the National Park's website.