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Four hikers injured by lightning at North Carolina’s Grandfather Mountain

Four hikers were injured at one of North Carolina’s most popular tourist attractions when lightning from a fast-approaching storm struck near them, a Grandfather Mountain official said.

One of the hikers — part of a group of seven walking around MacRae Peak — was taken to the hospital following Friday’s strike, according to Landis Taylor with the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation.

The hikers involved in Friday’s midday severe weather were now recovering at home, state Department of Natural and Cultural Resources spokeswoman Michele Walker said on Saturday.

The injuries happened on the portion of Grandfather Mountain that is designated as a state park, Taylor said. The remaining two-thirds of the mountain, which includes the iconic Mile High Swinging Bridge, is operated by the foundation. Foundation workers and local emergency officials participated in the response, according to Taylor.

MacRae Peak is located in the backcountry of the mountain. Grandfather Mountain rises 5,946 feet (1,812-meters) above sea level in Avery County, which is about 115 miles (185 kilometers) northwest of Charlotte.

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