Lightning Strikes the Bell Tower

May 6, 2009
By Chris Richter

Bell Tower

The storms that rolled through the Triangle on Tuesday brought with them funnel clouds, rain and lightning. One bolt apparently struck the Bell Tower. WRAL reported that “the strike displaced a 24-inch capstone,” which is askew in the photo above. Technician talked with Matt Robbins ’06, a graduate student who lives nearby and who is leading the effort to get bells installed in the Bell Tower:

“We heard a big crash of thunder and it smelled like an electrical fire,” Robbins said. “It was just before the rain started and the sirens went off. There was granite all over the place. The biggest piece was larger than a football.”

Update: The university plans to put the dislodged capstone back into place immediately and is looking for a man who made off with a foot-long piece of granite, according to The News & Observer.

Update #2: The piece of granite has been returned, reports WRAL.

(Photograph by Tim O’Brien, courtesy of NC State Student Media)

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