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Camden County Elderly Care Center Evacuated After Lightning Strike

Camden County Health Services

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BLACKWOOD, N.J. (CBS) – A South Jersey Healthcare Facility was struck by lightning, leaving hundreds of patients inside without power.

It happened shortly before 7 o’clock Thursday evening at the Camden County Health Services Center in Blackwood.

The center’s C.E.O. Kevin Halpern explained, “The lightning seemed to have created an electrical charge that followed the wires back into the transformer.”

That meant the building’s back up power source was also out of commission. Therefore, Hapern made the decision to evacuate the building immediately. At the time, 450 patients were inside receiving services for mental health and long-term care.

“They have their clinical staffs, they have their medications, they have all their support equipment, they have food, whatever they need for this period of time,” Halpern said.

Watch the video…

Right away, the 150 mental health patients were relocated to the county’s Emergency Training Center just across the strret. While in the process of trying to relocate the remaining 300 patients in long-term care, workers were able to make emergency repairs and restore power. Thus the 300 patients remained in place.

As of late Thursday night, however, the building did not have air conditioning.

Authorities say they planned to use fans overnight and hoped to have the facility fully functioning by early Friday morning.

There were no reports of any injuries.

Reported by Elizabeth Hur, CBS 3

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