Lightning injured three people, one critically, as they huddled under a tree yesterday outside Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium before a concert by Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead.
Kristin Daniel, 20, of Danville, Va., was critically injured when lightning struck about 3 p.m. as thunderstorms moved through the area. She was taken by ambulance to D.C. General Hospital, next to the stadium, where she was listed in critical condition, officials said.
The other victims, Kira Lee, 23, and John Pongel, 21, were in stable condition at George Washington University Medical Center, authorities said. Their home towns were not available.
Daniel was under the tree with several other concertgoers in parking lot 8 when the bolt struck Daniel, said Capt. Rodney Monroe, commander of the police emergency response team. Lee and Pongel were standing nearby.
Immediately after Daniel collapsed, two other concertgoers started performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, said fire officials who were at the scene. One man, who was an emergency medical technician, ran to his vehicle to get an oxygen tank and breathing mask.
"She was not breathing, and her heart had stopped," said a fire official at the scene who did not want to be identified. "If it wasn't for the man giving her CPR, she probably wouldn't be alive."
Capt. Alvin Carter, a fire department spokesman, said that Daniel still was not breathing by the time paramedics arrived but that they were able to revive her in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
Fire officials said Lee and Pongel were conscious and talking when help arrived.
Daniel's grandmother, Patsy Daniel, was very worried about her granddaughter when reached last night at her home in Danville, about 240 miles southwest of Washington.
"I am floored by this," she said. "Kristin just celebrated her twentieth birthday Wednesday."
The grandmother said Daniel's parents were on the way to Washington.
Daniel, a student at Radford University in Radford, Va., was living at home for the summer with her parents. She attended last night's concert with a friend.
The concert started about 6 p.m. The Grateful Dead, in town for the weekend, typically draws huge crowds to RFK, Carter said.
The annual concert has been a source of complaints from residents in the neighborhoods near the stadium, who say the fans are a source of litter and rowdiness when the band is in town.
The incident near RFK wasn't the only lightning strike reported yesterday; two homes in Ellicott City were hit, authorities said. Those strikes caused minor damage but no injuries. National Weather Service forecasters said a similar summer storm pattern could last most of the week.
Heavy rains also peppered Northern Virginia and other parts of the Washington area yesterday. Tom Dougherty, of the National Weather Service, said intense storms such as the one that passed over RFK are common this time of year.
With high humidity and slow winds, "you can get a popcorn-type storm with a lot of activity. You can get a lot of rain in 10 to 20 minutes," Dougherty said. He said some parts of the area might get only a fraction of the rain that falls in places where clouds burst. Washington area residents can expect scattered showers and thunderstorms through Friday, Dougherty said. Staff writers Ruben Castenada, Louis Aguilar and Steve Bates contributed to this report.