A lightning strike at the Fort Gordon military base in Georgia on Wednesday killed one soldier and left nine others injured, a spokesperson for the military base said.
“It is with a heavy heart Fort Gordon confirms one of the soldiers in the lightning strike this afternoon succumbed to their injuries,” Fort Gordon spokesperson Anne Bowman told The Augusta Chronicle.
Speaking with NBC News, Bowman said the lightning strike took place at around 11 a.m. when soldiers were having a field training exercise. The deceased soldier’s identity will be released after the family has been notified, Bowman said. No further details were provided as of Wednesday evening regarding the injuries suffered by nine other servicemen.
Fort Gordon Range Control reported at 11:10 a.m. that 10 servicemen “sustained injuries associated with a lightning strike,” USA Today reported. Citing a news release from the Army base, local outlet WMAZ-TV reported that the Department of Emergency Services and Emergency Medical Services responded immediately to the scene.
Bowman also told the outlet that officials are still waiting for updates on the health condition of the injured soldiers who were taken to Dwight D. Eisenhower Medical Center after the lightning strike.
According to Fox Weather, Doppler radar indicated that there were several storms within the vicinity of the Georgia Army base around the time the lightning struck the area.
Fort Gordon is located about 10 miles southwest of Augusta. It offers training programs in various military departments such as information and communication technology, the New York Times reported. It also has a wing of the U.S. Army’s cyber operations unit.
Earlier this week, The Georgia Sun reported that there was a 40% chance of thunderstorms and rain showers in the state Wednesday. The outlet also reported a 50% chance of rain for Thursday across the state.
The National Weather Service (NWS) states that thunderstorms “are a common occurrence in Georgia, especially during the spring and summer months.” The agency has issued a Flash Flood Warning for Gilmer, Georgia. The warning is in place through Thursday, 6:15 a.m. EDT.
Meteorologist Bryan Backman also warned of “a growing risk of severe weather” Thursday in Georgia. “Threat will be greatest across the upstate/NE Georgia, with damaging winds the main concern,” he said, adding that frequent lightning and torrential rains are likely throughout the day.