Lightning strike injures 3 at Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaría International Airport

September 30, 2015

Three workers were injured in a lightning strike at Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaría International Airport outside the capital on Wednesday afternoon.

An indirect lightning strike impacted the employees, who work for the Cooperativa Autogestionaria de Servicios Aeroindustriales, according to Silvia Chaves, spokeswoman for Aeris, the company that manages the airport. All three were taken to a nearby hospital. Two of the three were in serious condition, she said. The daily La Nación identified the three as Guido Villalta Acuña, 64; Manuel Calvo Picado, 62; and José Torres Aragonés, 31.

According to La Nación, Villalta and Calvo were working on the fuselage of an airplane when lightning struck nearby and sent the two flying several meters. Torres was reportedly farther away from the strike and was not as badly burnt by the electricity. The airport briefly closed because of severe electrical activity, La Nación reported.

The National Meteorological Institute reported at 3:04 p.m. on Wednesday that there had been 356 lightning strikes in San José throughout the afternoon.

On Sept. 19, a lightning strike injured three U.S. Coast Guard officers who were visiting Costa Rica at the Poás Volcano overlook.

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