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Lightning strike lands 77 cadets in hospital

JACKSON, Mississippi (Reuters) - A lightning strike at a southern Mississippi military base sent 77 cadets to a hospital on Wednesday.

The cadets, enrolled in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, were admitted after a bolt struck during a severe thunderstorm about 2 p.m., a base spokeswoman said.

Two cadets were transported by ambulance and the rest by bus, and all were "very responsive and in stable condition," Mississippi Army National Guard Major Deidre Musgrave told Reuters.

She said they were taken to the hospital for precautionary evaluation, but could not give any information about the injuries sustained.

The cadets are stationed for two weeks at Camp Shelby, where a simulated forward operating base prepares them for the conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan, Musgrave said.

(Reporting by Meryl Dakin; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Peter Bohan)