A 53-year-old man in Sturgeon Lake was killed Monday night after he was struck by lightning as he stood in a puddle under a tree, according to the Pine County Sheriff’s Office.

Law enforcement officers and first responders were called about 7:35 p.m. Monday to an address on Alder Loop in Sturgeon Lake, which is about 50 miles south of Duluth. The caller said that a man had been struck by lightning and CPR was in progress.

The victim, who has not been identified pending the notification of relatives, was taken by ambulance to Mercy Hospital in Moose Lake, where he died from his injuries.

Further investigation showed that the man had been standing in a large puddle of water near a tree when he and the tree were struck by lightning. Thunderstorms had started rolling through the area about 6 p.m. Monday.

There have been 238 fatalities in the United States from lightning from 2006 to 2012, according to a recent study by the National Weather Service.

Of the fatalities, 82 percent were men, the study found. Possible explanations for the disparity, according to the study, are that men are unaware of all the dangers associated with lightning, are more likely to be in vulnerable situations, are unwilling to be inconvenienced by the threat of lightning, are in situations that make it difficult to get to a safe place in a timely manner, don’t react quickly to the lightning threat or any combination of these explanations.

Most fatalities in that seven years, 26, came while the victims were fishing, followed by camping (15), boating (14) and playing soccer (12).

Jim Anderson