Southwest flight to Orlando struck by lightning, diverted to Hartford

A Southwest Airlines flight from New Hampshire to Orlando, Florida, was struck by lightning Tuesday afternoon and diverted to Hartford, Connecticut.

The plane took off from Manchester-Boston Regional Airport at 5:42 p.m. local time and landed safely at Bradley International Airport at 6:51 p.m. local time, according to flight tracker FlightAware.

In a statement, Southwest confirmed that “Flight 2515 experienced a lightning strike after departure, and landed safely at Bradley International Airport.”  The airline said the flight would proceed on a different aircraft and that the 135 passengers would arrive in Orlando about four hours behind schedule.

Lightning strikes aren’t uncommon. In fact, another Southwest flight in the region apparently also was struck by lightning Tuesday afternoon, according to a passenger report on Twitter.

Samantha Granville told USA TODAY her flight from Austin, Texas, to Boston was struck 30 minutes before landing and that the plane landed safely. She said later flights on the plane were canceled.

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