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 Local Sports

Blazers hand Lakers 5th straight loss with 108-96 win


It was Portland's seventh straight victory over the Lakers.

in Local Sports

WSU beats Texas Southern 77-65 behind Hawkinson


Washington State led 47-26 at the half after shooting 60.6 percent from the field and holding Texas Southern to 32.3 percent.

in Sports

Watson’s 4 TDs lead No. 1 Clemson to victory

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney

Deshaun Watson ran for three touchdowns and passed for a fourth as No. 1 Clemson capped an undefeated regular season by holding off rival South Carolina 37-32 on Saturday.

in Sports

No. 2 Alabama claims SEC West with win over Auburn

Alabama head coach Nick Saban seems frustrated during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Auburn in Auburn, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013.

Derrick Henry ran 46 times for 271 yards and Adam Griffith kicked five field goals to propel No. 2 Alabama to the SEC West title with a 29-13 victory over rival Auburn on Saturday.

in Sports

Michigan State takes division with rout of Penn State

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio walks with his team before the first half of an NCAA college football game against Ohio State in East Lansing, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014.

Connor Cook threw three touchdown passes in his return from a shoulder injury, and No. 6 Michigan State wrapped up a spot in the Big Ten championship game with a 55-16 rout of Penn State on Saturday.