9-Year-Old Chesterfield Girl struck by lightning at summer camp

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CHESTERFIELD, MO. (KPLR) – A nine year old Chesterfield girl was one of three campers struck by lightning at an Indianapolis summer camp Saturday afternoon.  The girl, who has not been identified, has now been released from the hospital according to the father of counselor there.

That counselor, Carrie Seleman, 19, of Olivette, was too close to the whole thing for the taste of her father, Marc.  He was breathing a sigh of relief Sunday, with the knowledge his daughter is okay.

“She was actually on her way with her campers down to the pool, which is only a couple of hundred yards from where this happened,” Marc Seleman told us.  “She texted me, it was like 12:46, it was right when it happened.”

The incident happened at the Goldman Union camp, just north if Indianapolis.  Witnesses say the kids were playing in a field there.  Neighbor Carmen Siegel told the Indianapolis Fox affiliate that the weather seemed calm.

"But suddenly there was just a huge blast of thunder that you jumped straight out of your chair."

The nine year old Chesterfield girl, and another nine year old from Kentucky were both injured, but released from the hospital today according to multiple sources.  A third child, from the Cincinnati area was in critical condition, but has since been upgraded to stable.

Counselors from the  55 year old camp, which describes itself as a “Jewish Reform Movement Summer Camp,” are credited with helping save the kids.  CPR was already well underway when rescue crews arrived.

"I felt so sorry,” Siegel said. “There's nothing you can do to prepare because the sky didn't even get dark, really - just some clouds, but it wasn't like when it's black and you go to the basement. I'm just shocked. It's tragic."

Sunday, Seleman says, was about getting things back to normal.

“They’re just getting ready to deal with the aftermath and the kids and the trauma they might be having because their friends were hurt and storms are coming in and the worry that it might happen again.”

Something that would seem quite unlikely.

Camp officials didn’t comment to reporters beyond a statement on their Facebook page which reads:

“This Shabbat afternoon, lightning struck URJ Goldman Union Camp. Three campers were injured. Camp personnel and emergency professionals responded quickly. The children were taken to local hospitals and we have spoken with each child’s parents.

We are resuming our normal camp schedule, which will include dinner and evening program.

Please know, the safety of your children is our highest priority.

Sincerely,
Rabbi Mark Covitz

The injured campers have not been identified.

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