News

One dead after lightning strikes beach crowd

One dead after lightning strikes beach crowd

A man is treated by a paramedic after a lightning strike in the water in Venice, California on July 27, 2014. Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Alcorn

(Reuters) – One man died and at least eight people were injured on Sunday in a lightning strike during a rare thunderstorm at Venice Beach in Los Angeles, officials said.

The bolt of electricity made a loud crack that sounded like an explosion on a warm and overcast afternoon, witnesses said.

“I heard this crackle and there was this giant bolt of lightning shooting across the sky and the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard,” witness Joe Doro told KCAL-TV.

Victims were apparently in the water or very close to it when the lightning struck, local officials told the broadcaster.

The eight survivors were hospitalized for treatment and observation after the lightning hit near Ocean Front Walk facing the Pacific Ocean, around 2:15 p.m., said Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Katherine Main.

A 20-year-old man taken to Marina Del Rey Hospital was later pronounced dead, according to the Los Angeles county coroner’s department.

The cause of death was still being determined, a spokesman said. One other person was in critical condition, Main said, adding that a 15-year-old was among the victims.

On rocky Catalina Island off the coast of nearby Long Beach, a 57-year-old man was injured after a lightning strike, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.

The National Weather Service had predicted a chance of thunderstorms around Southern California on Sunday, and lightning was also being blamed for a power outage affecting about 300 customers in Redondo Beach, some 12 miles south of Venice.

Lightning injuries or fatalities can occur during a direct strike or after a current is passed through the ground or jumps from a taller object, such as a tree, according to the National Weather Service.

Symptoms can range from cardiac arrest and injury to the nervous system to muscle soreness, headache, and confusion.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere in Seattle; Additional reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Scott Malone, Diane Craft, Sandra Maler and Clarence Fernandez)

Recent Headlines

in Sports

This weekend’s sports schedule

cavs

Here's a look at this weekend's sports schedule.

in Sports

This week’s top sports shots

AP53093899001_9

A look at some of this week's biggest plays and best moments in sports.

in National

Making headlines this week

AP125285800932_17

A look back at some of this week's biggest headlines and the stories you may have missed.

in National

20 years later: The Oklahoma City bombing

20-overlay5

Sunday marks two decades since the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in American history.

in National

Senator says it’s time to change the face of money

eleanorroosevelt

A campaign to put a female face on the $20 bill is gaining momentum.