Three people were struck by lighting at two separate locations in Queens during severe thunderstorms that ripped through the city on Tuesday night. Two men playing soccer in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park were struck by lightning, while a third man was struck on a street corner in Jamaica, according to the National Weather Service.
An NYPD spokesperson said a 42-year-old man and a 30-year-old man were struck by lightning around 7 p.m. in Flushing Meadows. They were rushed to Elmhurst General Hospital; as of last night, one man was listed in serious but stable condition, the other man in critical condition. The spokesperson could not confirm which man was more severely injured.
One witness in the park told NBC NY that a dozen men were playing soccer when the storm swept through. As the players ran for cover, two were struck, and police in the park for a National Night Out event assisted the injured men.
"Thunder just went boom! And I felt it," witness Andrew Graneros told ABC 7. "I stopped everything I was doing. As you turn around you just see two guys laying on the floor and see a guy running towards us call the police call the police!"
"There was a goalie, he was just laying on the floor, and a defensive player laying next to him—and you just see people rushing them," another witness told NBC NY.
The third person struck in Queens was about four miles away from the previous strike. An FDNY spokesperson said EMS responded to a call of a person struck by lightning shortly before 8 p.m. at the intersection of Baisley Boulevard and 155th Street. The individual was taken to Queens General Hospital with minor, non-life threatening injuries, the spokesperson said.
Photos and video on social media struggled to convey the intensity of the storm, which downed trees and created flash flooding conditions in parts of NYC.
— Sam Boosack (@Mechshi) August 7, 2018
— Nicole Bermeo (@nicksb24b) August 8, 2018
— Habichuela Con Dulce (@HabichuelaDulce) August 8, 2018
And this was something that one weather watcher identified as a "legitimate wall cloud":
Lightning also started a fire at an LIRR substation, suspending service on some lines. LIRR was experiencing more delays this morning on several train lines, but the MTA said these delays were unrelated to last night's lightning strike.