Man killed when lightning strikes Christ Church in Cobble Hill

July 27, 2012 Associated Press
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Authorities say a 61-year-old pedestrian was killed after lightning struck the rooftop of Christ Church in Cobble Hill.

Police say the lighting brought down bricks onto some church scaffolding, causing part of it to collapse on the man as he walked by.

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The victim — identified this morning as Richard Schwartz — was taken to Long Island College Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after the 8 p.m. Thursday accident. He was not immediately identified.

The church is at 326 Clinton St. on the corner of Kane Street.

“It appears that there was a lightning strike that struck the steeple of the building,” said FDNY Chief Vinny Mandela. “The building is pretty damanged. Parts of the big boulders went right through the roof area into the lower portion of the church.”

Thursday evening’s severe thunderstorm caused power outages to 4,800 Con Edison customers. The utility said Friday nearly all service had been restored.

As of 4:45 a.m., it said, 35 customers were still without power, 19 of them in Yonkers.

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