News24

17 hurt in Canada lightning strike

2012-07-16 12:00

Whitby - Seventeen people have been hospitalised with minor injuries after lightning struck a dining tent at a food festival in Ontario.

Whitby Ribfest event chair Colin O'Regan said on Sunday that the lightning hit a tent holding several hundred people taking shelter from a sudden downpour in Whitby, a town about 55km east of Toronto.

He says the lightning bolt struck one of the tent's steel poles.

Lakeridge Health hospital spokesperson, Aaron Lazarus, says some of those hospitalised suffered minor burns. He says everyone has been discharged.

O'Regan says festival officials were aware of the severe thunderstorm watch, but thought it wasn't a risk at the time.

He says the festival has closed early as a result of the lightning strike.