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 National

House Republicans sue over Obamacare

Fresh
obamacare

Republicans sued over the implementation of President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

in Sports

NFL’s Peterson vows never to use ‘switch’ again

Fresh
peterson

The suspended Vikings running back says he was startled to the injuries his discipline caused to his son.

in National

Lexus recalling 422K cars to fix fuel leak

Fresh
lexus

The fuel leak can increase the risk of fire, safety regulators say.

in National

Thanksgiving travel at a 7-year high

gas

More than 46 million Americans are expected to travel over the holiday weekend.

in National

Chinese cyber attacks could shut U.S. infastructure

nsa

China could invade the computer systems of utilities, aviation networks, and financial companies, the director of the U.S. National Security Agency has warned.