TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA – As the Packers and Buccaneers wrapped up their game at Raymond James stadium in Tampa Bay, emergency personnel were called to the parking lot of the facility where lightning had struck a parked SUV – sending seven to the hospital. While there were no fatal injuries reported by the local authorities, the strike occurred just moments after the game had ended. It’s unclear at this time whether more individuals were struck than the seven that were sent to the hospital – but the initial reports said that the lightning had struck the roof of the SUV, knocking several to the ground.
A wide-range of individuals were struck, both men and women. The ages of the victims ranged from early 20’s to a male in his 70’s. One individual who saw the strike happen at the facility noted that “We were about 100 feet away from the car and we saw the pile of people lying around the car,” and he went on to note that “it was loud, very loud.”
Officials noted that there were a handful of individuals, roughly four or five, who refused treatment and said that they would go to the hospital under their own power. Unlike the other seven who were transported by the responding authorities. The strike is said to have happened around 4:10pm – and the timing would have had the game ending just a mere minutes beforehand.
Had the game been closer, some contended that the fans who were outside would have missed the entire ordeal. However, the Packers defeated the Buccaneers handily, earning a spot in the playoffs. The final was 20-3 and brought the Packers record to 11-4. Aaron Rodgers threw for a total of 318 yards and one touchdown, but was injured on the team’s second offensive possession of the game. “I’ll be OK for next week. I hurt my calf pretty good, but the training staff helped me kind of get through it,” added Rogers after the game.
While the Packers could still conceivably win the NFC North, they will meet the Detroit Lions next week to determine the division winner in the regular season finale. However, both teams at this point have clinched a playoff berth and will be seeing post-season play.