Eight sent to hospital after SeaWorld lightning strike released

Aug 17, 2011 | Updated Oct 17, 2011

ORLANDO, Fla (Reuters) - Eight people who experienced a lightning strike on Tuesday at SeaWorld Orlando were examined and released from medical facilities by midnight, the theme park reported on Wednesday.

The three guests and five workers were at the park's Discovery Cove when a storm rolled in and lightning struck nearby. No one was hit directly by the lightning bolt, and all were conscious and alert. But they were transported to a local hospital as a precaution, Nick Gollattscheck, SeaWorld spokesman, said.

Central Florida is known as the lightning capital of the United States. Florida as a whole recorded 449 lightning deaths between 1959 and 2007, according to the National Weather Service.

(Reporting by Barbara Liston; Editing by Jerry Norton)