Thirteen injured by lightning in Colorado, Montana


Lightning flashes during a thunderstorm early on September 13, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Americans increasingly believe that unusual weather is due to climate change.


Ethan Miller

In a lightning-filled Thursday in the western United States, nine farm workers were hit by a surprise lightning storm on a Colorado farm, while three people narrowly escaped death after being struck while hiking in Montana's Glacier National Park, and a 65-year-old woman was stuck in Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Two of the nine farm workers were critically injured and four seriously injured, although there were no fatalities, reports the Associated Press. 

The injured workers were "in a significant altered mental state," said Gary Green, chief of the Wellington Fire Protection District, to the Los Angeles Times, adding that a strike with so many victims was "very unusual." 

More from GlobalPost: Lightning hurts children at Indiana summer camp 

In Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, a 65-year-old woman was struck with lightning at a trailhead and taken to hospital, wrote the Associated Press. 

Meanwhile in Montana, two adults and a child were struck by lightning Thursday afternoon in Glacier National Park, according to NBC Montana. 

A 23-year-old man, a 23-year-old woman, and an 11-year-old boy were all hit, according to the Flathead News Group. The three were not related to one another. 

The child was airlifted to a medical facility in Kalispell, while the adults were transported out by ambulance. They were given CPR and first aid, and are expected to remain in the hospital for several days, although they are in stable condition. 

So far 2013 has seen 10 lightning fatalities in the US, with three deaths in Florida, two in Illinois, and single deaths in California, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, and Texas.