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Cherokee Co. Man Feels Effects of Lightning Strike - KOAM TV 7

Cherokee Co. Man Feels Effects of Lightning Strike

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SCAMMON, KANSAS -

The odds of being struck by lightning in your lifetime: 1 in 3,000. The odds of becoming a lightning victim in any 1 year, 1 in 7,000. The latter applies to a Kansas man who says he was struck by lightning and lives to tell the tale.

Austin Hansen wasn't struck directly but was about 200 yards away when a bolt hit the ground. He was at work at Mid America Pipe in Scammon on Tuesday when he felt the jolt. He was loading a 40 foot pipe onto a flatbed trailer when the lightning struck about 200 yards away.

“It was definitely, definitely a different pain. I mean it was 200 to 300 yards away so it wasn't close enough to hospitalize me for a long period of time but it was close enough to get my attention,” says Hansen.

He says even with the 8 tires on the trailer and his rubber soled boots, he felt a cramp in his left leg before it went numb.

“If you've ever had a really bad cramp in the middle of the night that wakes you up and gets you in the calves or thighs, that's what it was like. But it hurt enough to drop me to my knees. It's something that I’ve never experienced as in pain because it's just like a jolt. I've never been shocked like that,” he adds.

A coworker brought him to Via Christi and he was kept overnight. Hansen says even a few days later, his heart has still be racing. He plans to return to work next Tuesday.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, only about 10 percent of people directly struck by lightning are killed.

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