Airport Worker Struck by Lightning Captured on Video
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
An airport worker is lucky to be alive after being struck by a lightning bolt at Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) in Ft. Myers late last month. The worker, 21-year-old Austin Dunn, was assisting a departing Sun Country Airlines jet when a lightning bolt hit the plane’s tail, sending a jolt of electricity through the plane’s fuselage and into Dunn’s arm.
The incident was captured on security footage released on Tuesday by a local NBC affiliate. Shot from multiple angles, the video shows the terrifying moment that the lightning strikes the tail, as well as the current passing across the fuselage and into Dunn, who was standing near the nose of the plane. Seen wearing an orange safety jacket, Dunn falls to the ground almost immediately. He was hospitalized and treated for third degree burns, muscle damage and brain bleeding but thankfully was released from the hospital after two weeks, according to Travel+Leisure.
Airport ground crews are at extremely high risk for lightning strikes, according to a 2016 OSHA fact-sheet, and it’s not hard to understand why. The tarmac is rife with OSHA-identified risk-increasing features — it’s a wide-open outdoor environment surrounded by tall objects and peppered with massive, rolling electric conductors. The News-Press, a local paper, reports that RSW had activated a lightning warning system at the time that Dunn was struck, meaning that all airport personnel had to take cover. But the paper notes that Dunn was employed by outside contractor NavStar Global Aviation and therefore wasn’t required to follow the same safety protocols. NavStar Global Aviation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Featured image of a lightning strike courtesy of Nancy Newell via Getty Images.
H/T: NBC News
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.