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Lightning struck a New Jersey National Guard unit training at Fort Drum

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FORT DRUM — Ten members of the New Jersey National Guard were on a Fort Drum range to discuss their training schedule when, shortly after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, lightning struck their tent, injuring them all, their unit’s spokesman said.

None of the injuries was serious, 1st Sgt. David Moore said.

Six suffered minor injuries and were able to resume their training Wednesday, while four others were under the care of the New Jersey 50th Infantry medical unit, he said. Those four were expected to return to duty soon, Sgt. Moore said.

At least one victim was taken to Carthage Area Hospital and another to Samaritan Medical Center, Watertown, but nobody was admitted to a hospital as a result of the incident, the sergeant said.

Their brigade in the 50th Infantry Combat Team was participating in “individual and collective” skills training, including weaponry qualification, as they prepare for readiness in case the unit receives orders for deployment, he said.

Sgt. Moore said Tuesday’s incident will be reviewed by a safety inspection team.

Reports Tuesday night indicated the unit was in training on or near Range 23, near Weaver Road and Russell Turnpike. Guilfoyle Ambulance, which has a contract to serve Fort Drum, responded to the scene and transported some victims.

Six battalions of the 50th, consisting of about 2,000 soldiers, began their Fort Drum tour on Aug. 8, and they head for their home base at Lawrenceville, N.J., on Aug. 24, the sergeant said.

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