Police: Esplanade evacuation went smoothly
BOSTON (WHDH) -- Lightning lit up the Boston skyline Wednesday night, causing trouble both before and after the big Fourth of July celebration at the Hatch Shell.
The Boston Pops left the stage and concertgoers were told to evacuate the Esplanade as storms rolled in Wednesday night.
The police commissioner said they weren’t going to take any chances.
“Last night a decision was made to evacuate the Esplanade. It was the right decision to make in view of the information we had,” said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis on Thursday.
Though no one was injured on the Esplanade, two 29 year olds were struck by lightning in Thomas Park near the Dorchester Heights monument. They were treated and released from the hospital.
“We just heard a huge boom and then a torrential downpour started and everyone just started running and screaming,” said Colin Murphy, who watched the fireworks in South Boston.
Murphy was at Thomas Park watching the fireworks with about 200 other people from the Southie neighborhood. The park offered a clear view of the Esplanade show.
Police said right as the show started the storm struck.
“The lightning strike came after the decision was made to shut the Esplanade down, but it was a good indication of how serious it could have been,” said Davis.
Murphy said Mother Nature gave the crowd no warning.
“We saw heat lightning earlier, but this was the first strike we had seen in awhile. We thought the weather had cleared,” said Murphy.
Earlier the weather caused evacuations on the Esplanade in the middle of the Boston Pops concert.
The musicians were ordered off stage and thousands of people were told to seek shelter -- many went to the underpass of Storrow Drive.
“It was weird, because we were sitting out there and all of a sudden the cops said we had to get off,” one woman said. “So, yeah, it was crazy. Lightning was coming in -- dangerous lightning.”
No one on the Esplanade was hurt. The show was delayed about 25 minutes.