Rome, GA Lightning Strike Hurts Marines, May 1977


Rome, Ga. (UPI) -- "It lit up like daylight and then people started hollering," said one of 11 Marine Corps reservists hospitalized following a freak lightning accident during a training exercise.
The lightning struck a hill about 10 miles from Rome where 35 reservists were doing "night defensive" drills Saturday night.
CHARLES SHELL, of Johnson City, Tenn., one of nine reservists who remained in the hospital Sunday, said he was under his poncho trying to keep dry when the sky lit up. "People started hollering and wanting help," said SHELL.
Eight reservists were listed in satisfactory condition Sunday and one was listed as fair at Floyd County Hospital. Two others already had been released.
Capt. Roy Carter, instructor of Company L and leader of the 150 reservists attached to companies in Rome, Mobile, Ala., and Johnson City, said, "nobody was to blame -- it was an act of God."
The lightning was apparently picked up by radio communication equipment.

Playground Daily News Fort Walton Florida 1977-05-23