Tree struck by lightning falls on tent of Bucks County swim club, injuring 9

Tim Jimenez
August 18, 2019 - 7:45 pm
Dolphin Swim Club

Tim Jimenez/KYW Newsradio

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UPDATED: Aug. 19, 10:45 a.m.

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FEASTERVILLE-TREVOSE, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Nine people were injured Sunday afternoon, including young children, after officials say lightning struck a tree, which then fell on a tent they were underneath at the Dolphin Swim Club in Bucks County.

The day was relatively quiet until storms rolled through, forcing swimmers to get out of the public pool. Around 5 p.m., a group of people ran to a tent to take cover from severe weather, until the tree collapsed on the large, white tent.

Some ran out from the tent, while others remained stuck under branches.

Among intermittent points of hail, lifeguards and staff ran in to get everyone out before firefighters and police officers arrived.

Bill Oettinger, Lower Southampton's fire marshal and emergency coordinator, commended them for jumping into action.

"When the tree came down, the staff went in to get everyone out. The fire department came in, cut the tree apart from the tent, to make sure no one else was underneath there," he added.

Of the nine people, three were more seriously injured, according to officials. Two had injuries to the head, and another to the back.

Several of the injured were young children, like Rubin Diaz's kids. He told CBS 3 that his 1-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter have scratches and bruises.

"For that to happen when you're going out swimming — I don't know how to explain it. To have to look at my kids like this, you know, it's hurtful," he said.

Officials say no one was actually hit by lightning. Several other trees, some completely uprooted, were also down at the swim club on Bristol Road Monday morning.

All of the people who were injured are expected to recover.

As of Monday morning, the Dolphin Swim Club announced it is "closed until further notice."