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Second middle school student dies after rowing boat capsized in an Orlando lake due to possible lightning strike

By Melissa Alonso, CNN

A second middle school student has died after a lightning strike may have caused the boat of a student rowing club to capsize earlier this month, rowing officials said Saturday.

“It is with broken hearts that we share the passing of a second rower involved in last Thursday’s weather-related tragedy,” North Orlando Rowing said in a Facebook post on Saturday.

Lightning struck on September 15 when five middle school students were practicing near the North Orlando Rowing Complex in Lake Fairview, Orlando, officials said at the time, though it is unclear whether the lightning hit the vessel or struck nearby.

One student was missing and another was hospitalized immediately after the accident. The body of the missing child was recovered the next day, according to the Orlando Fire Department. The other three students were treated at the scene and released to their parents.

The identities of the two students who died have not been released.

“The (North Orlando Rowing) community is devastated and continues to focus on supporting our affected families and our entire NOR team during this difficult time,” said the rowing organization’s post.

The organization said they are cooperating with local authorities as they investigate the incident.

“We continue to cooperate with local authorities and US Rowing as they investigate the incident. Until the investigation is complete, we are unable to provide further comment,” said the post.

“We are beyond grateful for the outpouring of love and concern from around the world. Please continue to hold our families in your prayers,” North Orlando Rowing said.

In a statement released after the accident, USRowing said it was providing support and remaining in contact with state and local authorities regarding an investigation.

CNN has reached out to the Orlando Police Department for comment.

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CNN’s Jamiel Lynch and Aya Elamroussi contributed to this report.

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