Apparent Lightning Strike Damages Construction Crane at Disney

There are no reports so far of any injuries following a fire at a construction crane at the Walt Disney World Resort on Wednesday morning. The fire, which started as a thunderstorm was passing through the construction site of The Cove (a new hotel being build at the Swan and Dolphin Resorts near Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios), appears to be the result of a lightning strike according to an eyewitness on social media.

The poster, @austinthart, identifies himself as a weekend producer for Orlando television station WFTV. Another account, @itsaustindoes, has the same photos and appears to be run by the same person; it offers additional accounts of what happened, including that workers were seen leaving the construction area as the storm approached.

The fire was reportedly quickly extinguished and crews have already returned to work.

Radar around the time of the apparent lightning strike showed heavy rain in the area. A Significant Weather Advisory, denoting a strong but not severe thunderstorm, was in effect at the time.

The incident serves as another reminder that lightning can strike anywhere with little advanced warning even if the overall storm is not exceedingly strong. Many outdoor attractions have protocols which require evacuation of pools and rides when lightning is detected within ten miles, for this very reason. As the National Weather Service reminds us, When thunder roars, go indoors.

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