A 13-year-old girl was supposedly struck by lightning in Chicago on Wednesday afternoon.
Reports say that the strike happened while the girl and her family were standing outside the Garfield Park Conservatory, one of the largest greenhouses in the United States, which is located about 20 minutes west of downtown Chicago. The area was under a severe thunderstorm watch at the time of the incident.
A spokesman from a Chicago fire department confirmed that the unidentified girl was transported to Stroger Hospital following the lightning strike and was said to be in critical condition. No new information regarding her condition has since been released.
According to a report from WBBM-TV, an ice cream truck vendor, who was packing up his belongings and preparing to return home for the day, was in the area when the lightning strike occurred. The man told WBBM-TV that a storm front blew in suddenly while the girl and her family were in the conservatory parking lot. He then “heard a crack” and thought that lightning had “hit a tree.” However, he then heard the sound of fire trucks and saw emergency medical teams rush the young girl away in an ambulance.
Though the chances of a person being struck by lightning are remote, they are not as rare as some might think. The National Weather Service claims that approximately 43 people die from a lightning strike each year, but it also states that only 10% of lightning strike victims die, suggesting that the number of people struck by lightning in any given year is closer to 430. NWS lists an individual’s chances of being struck in a given year at about one in 1.2 million.