The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Lightning strikes outside soccer stadium; off-duty firefighter hospitalized in cardiac arrest

  • Print

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Lightning struck outside a soccer stadium before an MLS game, sending an off-duty firefighter who went into cardiac arrest to the hospital and forcing the postponement of the Columbus Crew's game against FC Dallas.

The lightning strike was in the parking lot of Crew Stadium on Saturday night, but it's not known if the off-duty lieutenant was struck directly, Columbus Fire Department Battalion Chief Tracy Smith said.

The firefighter, identified as Lt. Stu Tudor, had to be resuscitated, and was listed Sunday morning in critical condition in the intensive care unit at the Ohio State Medical Center, Smith said. She said it takes between two and three days to determine the total effects of a possible lightning strike.

The storm with heavy rain and lightning bursts rolled through about 15 minutes before the scheduled 8 p.m. kickoff. Fans were told to evacuate the stands and head toward the concourses of the double-decked stadium.

Emergency officials got calls reporting the lightning strike at about 8 p.m.

Crew fan Don Lewis told The Columbus Dispatch that he was taking cover during heavy rain in a portable toilet when he said he felt electricity run through the air and then heard someone in the toilet next to him call 911 to report that someone had been hit by lightning.

"All of a sudden it was just a bomb that went off," Lewis told the newspaper. "I knew it was close. The electricity ran through me."

He said he saw a man lying on the ground when he got out of the toilet.

"He was purple and had his shirt ripped off," Lewis said.

Crew owner Anthony Precourt said on Twitter that team was sorry about the postponement, but that fans' safety "is of the utmost importance." Precourt also said he was praying for the injured firefighter.

The game was rescheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday. The National Weather Service forecast more showers and thunderstorms Sunday, but said they are likely to occur after 5 p.m.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.