Lightning hit a family causing a boy's necklace to melt and shatter

On this day in weather history, lightning struck a group of picnickers.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


On Saturday, May 25, 1996, lightning struck a tree and fell on a group of picnickers in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

A family was eating at four wooden picnic tables on a sunny day when they saw lightning strikes around 28 km away. Within three minutes, the group saw another flash of lightning.

Three or four minutes after that strike, a bolt of lightning struck a tree near their eating area. The tree dissipated the strike and then hit the people picnicking.

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Shards of the tree also hit a few of the family members; a chunk hit a 13-year-old in the leg. Another person had keys in their pocket which heated up so intensely that their leg swelled.

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A 16-year old boy's necklace melted and shattered. He was knocked out and can't remember the event, but his mother recalls the electricity going through her body.


A total of 11 people were impacted by the lightning. After a brief hospitalization, everyone walked away without any major injuries.

"Get inside if there is a thunderstorm in the area," said a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami, adding, "Do not go under a tree for any reason. Never go under a tree for shelter. Get inside. That is the only advice."

To learn more about the lightning that struck, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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Thumbnail: Courtesy of Pixabay