Lightning strike disrupts air travel at BWI Airport - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Lightning strike disrupts air travel at BWI Airport

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A veteran FAA employee is recovering at home after getting a severe electric shock when the control tower at BWI Airport was struck by lightning.

The incident brought air travel to a standstill for more than two and a half hours on Thursday. 120 flights were canceled. It may take well into Friday for the airlines to catch up.

John Dunkerly of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association says the worker, who is set to retire in two years, was about to flip the switch for some emergency runway lights when he was zapped.

Dunkerly says the equipment struck by lightning in the tower was not properly grounded when it was hit by lightning. It struck the worker who was knocked to his knees by the impact.

Doctors will be monitoring him for signs that the numbness in his hands and arms is getting worse.

Air travelers are urged to call their airline before heading to the airport to get the latest flight information.

FAA Statement
At 2:21 p.m. this afternoon lightning struck the air traffic control tower at Baltimore Washington International Airport. The tower is not handling any air traffic operations at this time and the FAA’s Potomac Consolidated Terminal radar approach control facility has assumed control of the airspace. All information is preliminary and subject to change.

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