UPDATE: One soldier dead after lightning strike on Fort Gordon, nine other soldiers injured
FORT GORDON, Ga. (WFXG) - According to Fort Gordon, a lightning strike claimed the life of one soldier and injured nine other soldiers Wednesday morning.
According to Anne Bowman with Fort Gordon, at approximately 11:10 a.m., Jul 20, Fort Gordon Range Control reported that 10 Soldiers sustained injuries associated with a lightning strike at one of their training areas. Fort Gordon's Department of Emergency Services and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene immediately. The extent of injuries sustained is currently unknown.
Bowman added Wednesday night, "It is with a heavy heart Fort Gordon confirms one of the Soldiers injured in the lightning strike this afternoon succumbed to their injuries. No name will be released until the next of kin have been notified."
On Thursday, the Army identified forty-one-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Michael D. Clark as the soldier killed in the lightning strike. Sgt. Clark was an operating room specialist assigned to the 933rd Forward Resuscitative Surgical Company, 3rd Medical Command. He was a Springfield, Massachusetts native who served over twenty-two years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve, deploying four times to Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The 933rd FRSD family is devastated by the loss of our brother, Sgt. 1st Class Michael Clark. Sgt. 1st Clark was a loving husband, father, and a Patriot who deeply loved our country. His leadership, knowledge, experience, and love for his fellow Soldiers was immeasurable. Sgt. 1st Clark’s smile and laughter were infectious and always brought joy to everyone around him. Words will never be able to describe how much he will be missed, but his influence on our unit and Soldiers will remain forever. This especially hurts because not only was Sgt. 1st Clark one of my Soldiers, but he was my friend and brother. Our prayers are with his family.”
- Maj. Stephen W. Rhinehart, commander, 933rd Forward Resuscitative Surgical Company
Local political figures also spoke about the incident.
“My wife, Dee Dee, and I were shocked and heartbroken to learn of the soldier stationed at Fort Gordon who passed after being tragically struck by lightning, which also injured nine others. Please join us in praying for the soldiers and their families and for the protection of our brave men and women in uniform, serving through their day-to-day tasks and missions overseas. May God bless and keep them as they serve and defend our great nation.” - Rep. Jody Hice (R)
“We are praying for those injured in the lightning strike at Fort Gordon yesterday. This is a heartbreaking story and our hearts are with the victims and their families.” - Rep. Rick Allen (R)
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