Several people have been injured after lightning struck a tree at a golf tournament in the US.

The Tour Championship, being held at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, had been suspended on Saturday afternoon so spectators and players could shelter from a storm.

The lightning struck a 60ft pine tree just off the 16th tee about half an hour later, shattering the trunk all the way to the bottom.

Fans are assisted by medical personnel after a lightning strike during the third round of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club. Pic: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports
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Six people were taken to hospital by ambulance. Pic: Adam Hagy/USA TODAY Sports
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Atlanta Police spokesman James H White III said five men and one girl had been sheltering under the tree. All six were injured when the lightning struck.

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They were taken to hospital where they were described as alert, conscious and breathing.

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Brad Uhl, from Atlanta, was among those who saw the lightning strike.

He said: “There was just a big explosion and then an aftershock so strong you could feel the wind from it.

“It was just a flash out of the corner of the eye. It was raining and everyone was huddled near the tree.”

An ambulance arrives to provide medical assistance after a lightning strike during a suspension of the third round due to inclement weather of the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on August 24, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia
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The victims had been sheltering from a storm during a golf tournament

The PGA said the third round of the tournament had been suspended for the day, adding: “the safety of our fans, players and partners is of the utmost importance”.

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Lightning strikes have killed 12 people in the US so far this year, according to the National Weather Service.

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