Lightning bolt hits Rio Salado College, school evacuated - New York News

Lightning bolt hits Rio Salado College, school evacuated

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PHOENIX -

Along with the Thursday's rain come a lot of lightning and thunder, and one community college took a direct hit.

The tower at Rio Salado College was evacuated after a bolt of lightning struck the side of the building.

Chief Technology Officer David O'Shea was among those forced to spend their morning out of the office.

"Nope, not a typical day, no."

No one was expecting the storm would force them out of the building.

"I came into work on the 202 from the east valley and saw a beautiful lightning show but didn't have any idea it was actually affecting our workplace," says Delynn Bodine, Rio Salado College PR manager.

From the outside you can't tell exactly where the lightning struck the tower, but people who were inside say they heard a loud explosion and it shook the building.

The lightning strike set off the fire alarm system in the building's main data facility, filling a room on the fifth floor with fire suppressant.

"Once it goes off, the process is just to clear the floor, ventilate the room, which is what we did. Then you can go in and get back to business," says O'Shea.

No one was injured by the lightning strike, and they were allowed back inside after about an hour.

"It was more an inconvenience than anything else. We went through our procedures, cleared the building, made sure everything was safe, and we're back in business."

There were about 40 people inside the building when it was struck by lightning.

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