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Lightning strike kills two Kentucky farmers, authorities say

By Kevin Conlon, CNN
updated 8:05 AM EDT, Thu August 22, 2013
  • The workers were in a tobacco barn
  • Two were killed and three were injured

(CNN) -- Two farmers died and three others were injured Wednesday when lightning struck a barn in in Buckeye, Kentucky, an official said.

The two were working in the barn, hanging tobacco leaves for the "curing" process that dries out the leaves with heat, when the bolt struck. Garrard County EMS Supervisor Tim May identified the victims as Bobby Maggard, 29, and Scotty Elam, 25.

The two were in the barn's rafter-like beams about 12 to 15 feet off of the ground at the time, he said.

May said there were eight people in the barn at the time, and five of them were hit by the lightning charge.

Of the three injured, one was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

May said it is harvest season for tobacco in Kentucky and the group worked for local tobacco producer Wilmot Farms.

A phone number listed for Wilmot Farms went unanswered Wednesday night.

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