Several injured at campground in Maine as storm topples trees

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A family of six were injured at Flat Rock Bridge Family Resort and campground in Lebanon, Maine after a severe thunderstorm caused trees to topple, with one landing on a tent. A 10-year-old girl was critically injured after a tree fell on the tent she was sleeping in. Witnesses say the girl was pinned under the tree for at least 10 minutes before they were able to remove it.

Witnesses also say the day was beautiful and sunny, but at around 6:00 p.m. (EDT) a storm rolled in, darkening the sky, followed by heavy winds and rain. Witnesses describe a “funnel-like wind” which lifted items off the ground and threw them around. The strong winds then brought down trees and limbs, with one landing on the family’s campsite and tent. Severe lightning was also reported.

“The female patient was loaded into Lebanon Ambulance One and transported to Frisbie Hospital in Rochester to be stabilized and then was transferred to the trauma center at Maine Medical Center. Her injuries were considered critical and life threatening when she left the scene,” said Jason Cole, the assistant rescue chief for the area. The victims names have not been released and the girl’s current condition is not yet known.

Rescuers responding to the scene noticed several other trees and limbs scattered around other campsites and searched all 350 sites, but no other injuries were reported. Other campers say they had several close calls with tree limbs and debris. At least 12 trees were reported to have toppled during the storm. The family’s car was also destroyed when a tree limb landed on it.

The National Weather Service in Maine says it will investigate whether or not the storm produced a tornado.

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