A METRO ARTICLE YESTERDAY INCORRECTLY STATED THAT A 17-YEAR- OLD SILVER SPRING YOURTH DIED OF INJURIES CAUSED WHEN HE WAS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING WHILE PUTTING ON A GOLF COURSE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND AT COLLEGE PARK IN MAY. THE YOUTH HAS FULLY RECOVERED FROM HIS INJURIES. (Published 10/8/87)
Three persons were injured, two of them critically, last night when they were struck by lightning in a parking lot of the Capital Centre after a rock concert.
The lightning strike occurred around 11:30 p.m. about 200 yards from the Landover arena's front entrance as all three were crossing a puddle in heavy rain, Prince George's County fire officials reported.
The injured were said to be among the aproximately 18,000 people who had attended a concert by the Lynyrd Skynyrd rock group.
The two most seriously hurt -- a 26-year-old man and a woman, whose age was unavailable -- were unconscious and were given cardiopulmonary resuscitation by paramedics before an ambulance took them to the Prince George's Hospital Center, where they were reported in critical condition early today.
The third person managed to get to the Capital Centre's first-aid station, then was also taken to the hospital, where she was expected to be released after treatment, according to fire department spokesman Tony DeStefano.
None of those injured was identified immediately.
Robert Ranes of Gambrills, Md., walking behind the man and woman who were most seriously hurt, said he saw a flash and "thought it was a grenade" explosion. He said he felt a shock "come up through my hair."
His wife, Debbie Ranes, said she was walking about five feet behind her husband, and the lightning flash appeared to come up out of the ground. The force of the lightning appeared to stagger several people, she said.
Jeff Bowman, a National Weather Service forecaster, said a line of thunderstorms formed to the west near the Blue Ridge about 10 p.m. and swept through the Washington area.
"There were very intense thunderstorms that passed through," Bowman said. "It started out just as showers and developed rapidly into a line of thunderstorms that . . . reached the west suburbs just before 11 p.m. and moved rapidly through the area."
He said the weather service received reports of "frequent lightning" throughout the area, 45 mph wind gusts in the Patuxent River area and some small hail in northern Prince George's County.
Because there wasn't a strong frontal system behind the storms, most had left the area by midnight.
Lightning was responsible for the deaths of four people in separate incidents in Maryland and Virginia earlier this year.
A 17-year-old employe of the golf course at the University of Maryland in College Park was fatally struck by lightning May 31.
In the most recent incident, a 14-year-old Fairfax County youth was killed Aug. 28 and a 15-year-old girl was injured when they were running for cover in a thunderstorm. The girl recovered from her injuries.