Two siblings injured after lightning strike in Tampa

Siblings Jemeal and Jamireka Merritt

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It is a story of survival that two siblings will share for a lifetime.

A 12-year-old little boy and his 14-year-old sister, both scared of storms, were waiting for their grandmother to get home on Thursday afternoon.

That’s when the rain began to fall.

They had no idea that what would happen next would land them both in the emergency room at Tampa General Hospital. Their aunt told WFLA, “frantic, frantic, frantic. We were scared.”

When the storm began to rage loudly outside, Jameal and Jemireka Merritt locked themselves inside.

Seconds later, the siblings heard the searing crack of lightning, followed by a tree crashing to the ground in the backyard of their Tampa home.

Then, the fireworks began due to the power lines overhead. When the tree toppled, it took with it long electrical lines. When those fell, they landed on a metal fence.

As the siblings finally tiptoed outside, they made a terrifying mistake and grabbed the railing – live with electricity.

In the end, they survived and were released from the hospital the following day.

This is a blessing because I’m glad I don’t have a call that says you need to get down to the hospital morgue and identify the children. Oh, I’m going to cry,” said Alexis Merritt. “We are so thankful they’re alive.”

This is a developing situation.  Stay on for more updates on this story.


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