Close call at PBIA - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Close call at PBIA

By Al Pefley bioemail

WEST PALM BEACH , FL (WFLX) - A narrow escape for a Delta Airlines employee at Palm Beach International Airport Wednesday afternoon. A worker on the tarmac was nearly struck by lightning.

A Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputy at the scene says the employee was operating a tug,  one of the vehicles that pushes planes away from the gate for take-off.

He got off the tug to unhitch the plane, so it could taxi over to the runway, when a lightning bolt hit very close to him. The deputy says the Delta worker felt what he described as "a surge", and it was enough to leave him feeling dazed.

He was not knocked off his feet.

An airport shuttle van driver, who was parked near the terminal, heard the lightning bolt. "Well, I was waiting for a customer outside, and there was an employee for Delta backing out a plane that was ready to takeoff, and then the storm hit. I heard a very loud clap of thunder. It sounded like it was right over my head! I bet you it shook the building!" said Peter Costello, a shuttle driver for Yellow Express. 

The Delta employee was taken to a hospital to be checked out  but according to the deputy he was not injured.

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