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Participants In Frisbee Match Struck By Lightning, One Killed

April 11, 1994 GMT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Lightning struck players and spectators ″like a grenade″ at a Frisbee match Sunday, killing one person and injuring 18 others.

The Ultimate Frisbee Match was being held on a rain-soaked field in Ezell Park when the lightning struck around 1:30 p.m., Detective Brad Putnam said. ″It was like a grenade that exploded. People were standing there and they went ‘Bang.’ Just like that. Everybody on the field hit the ground,″ Fred Baes told The Tennessean newspaper.

″It was a huge bolt. It knocked me back about 5 yards. I was knocked over the water cooler and behind it,″ said Baes, of Oak Ridge.


Seven of the victims were players and the rest were spectators, police said.

Shawn Adams, 29, of Chattanooga, was killed, police said.

Carmen Lapoma, 28, of Atlanta, was in critical condition at Southern Hills Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Of the others who were hurt, all were released by late Sunday, said Elizabeth Spurgeon, director of marking and public relations for the hospital.

Twenty-four Frisbee teams arrived in Nashville two days ago to take part in the match, which uses a flying disk to play soccer, tag and football.

Putnam said police didn’t know if the lightning hit the field or the people. He said it had been raining on and off from the time the games began at 10:30 until the accident.

″One of victims said they didn’t think lightning was that close,″ he said.