There was no wind or rain, only one dark, ominous cloud hanging over the park yesterday afternoon where several children played. Then residents saw a “giant fireball” strike the ground with a burst of white light and explosive thunder.
A solitary lightning bolt touched down at about 2:20 p. m., its current travelling through the sodden earth to an adjacent soccer field where it felled a 26-year-old mother, her six-year-old son and a four-year-old boy in the care of a babysitter.
Emergency officials arrived within minutes at Centennial Park near Queen and Centre streets where passersby were trying to revive the victims.
The boys were taken to the Hospital for Sick Children in downtown Toronto where family for the older child paced the intensive care unit. A man close to the family said the boy, while still in critical condition, was breathing on his own last night. His mother, who is in stable condition at a hospital in Brampton, was “coherent” but could not recall what had happened, he said.
The other boy remained in critical condition.
Ashley Almeida, 17, was walking home from the gym when she heard a bang and, from the corner of her eye, saw people drop to the ground.
“I saw sparks above my head and felt my head shake,” she said. “I called 911 right after I saw the children on the ground. Another woman was crying out for help. It was very frightening. I didn’t know what to do.”
via Lightning ‘fireball’ sends 3 to hospital.