One person is dead and as many as a dozen people were hurt when lightning struck a popular river gathering spot in South Carolina on Independence Day.

Lightning hit near Lawshe Plantation located along the Black River near the coast in Georgetown County on Thursday afternoon.

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Eucalyptus tree that was blown apart by a lightning strike, Walcha, NSW in 2006. Picture by Cgoodwin via Wikipedia; Public Domain

One person was killed and six others were treated at a hospital Thursday after lightning struck a tree they were standing under, authorities in South Carolina said.

The incident happened at the Black River in the area of Lawshe Plantation in Andrews, which is in Georgetown County. According to witnesses, the lightning strike happened at a cookout.

A spokesperson for Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital said it received a total of seven patients from the lightning strike, including the person who died.

Four patients walked into the hospital and the other two who survived were transported by ambulance, and all are in fair condition, the spokesperson said.

According to the nearby homeowner, a group of people were boating in the Black River and stopped at Lawshe Plantation and were cooking out on the shore when the lightning strike occurred.

Dave Loewenthal, forecaster for the National Weather Service’s Wilmington, North Carolina, office, which covers Georgetown County in South Carolina, said the lightning strike happened around 2:10 p.m. near a sand bar and beach area that is frequented by local residents.

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A map showing the lightning deaths in the USA from 2007-2017. Map by S.fever via Wikipedia; CC BY-SA 4.0

Three people were under a tree when the strike happened. One person was in critical condition when transported to the hospital but later died.

Two others taken to the hospital had minor injuries and were treated. Reports say as many as a dozen people were hurt in all.

[WISTV, 6ABC, NBC News]

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