Eight sent to hospitals after ‘mass casualty incident’ at Pine Lake Campground

CAROGA LAKE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office confirmed multiple agencies were on the scene of a ‘large incident’ at the Pine Lake Campground and RV Park in Caroga Lake.

The Sheriff’s Office said in a post on their Facebook page Saturday night that officials from the Fulton County Civil Defense Office, Sheriff’s Office, and multiple Fire and EMS Agencies responded.

The Sheriff’s Office says severe thunderstorms passed through the Campground around 6:30 p.m. toppling trees and pulling down electrical wires.

Wires and trees came down on campers, cars and other structures, and the high winds even picked several campers up and moved them around.

According to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, responding units determined the scene to be a mass casualty incident.

There were no reports of any fires caused by the damage, but crews did need to secure a leaking propane tank.

As the storms passed through, in addition to the occupied campground and RV park, “The Eddie” music festival was also being held in the immediate area. More than 1000 people were in attendance at the music festival.

The Sheriff’s Office says everyone at the festival was evacuated within 45 minutes, and by 9:30 pm, everyone at the campground was accounted for.

According to Barbara DeLuca, the Town of Caroga Fire Chief, there was a highly attended music festival at the campground today.

Officials say there are multiple reports of minor injuries from the falling trees and wires. Several people were trapped and needed to be extricated by rescue workers.

Chief De Luca says there are no reports of fatalities as of yet, but eight victims were transported by ambulance to the local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

At least five fire companies from Fulton County, including the Berkshire Volunteer Fire Department, State Fire, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, Fulton County EMS Coordinator, and the Town of Caroga Highway Department responded to the scene.

Chief De Luca says everyone responded to their request for aid, and have all been working very well, and very hard, together.

There has been speculation that what went through the campground may have been a tornado. But Chief De Luca says someone from National Grid told her there might have been a microburst of some kind.

Communication is difficult, as all land line phones are down and cell service is not available in the area.

The Sheriff’s Office is asking friends and family of people affected by the incident not to call their main dispatch number unless there is an emergency.

Chief De Luca says the goal for Saturday night is to complete an accounting of everyone at the campground. She says the dark is not helping. Crews have generators here and there, powering several light towers illuminating the area. De Luca says they’ll have to rely on the generators because power is not likely to be back on for a while.

Crews will be back early Sunday morning to do a more thorough assessment of the damage to the area and begin the cleanup process.

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