Lightning kills man at Los Angeles beach

LOS ANGELES – Lightning from an isolated summer thunderstorm killed one person and injured others who were swimming, sunning and enjoying Sunday afternoon at Venice beach, officials said.

A 20-year-old man died of his injuries, Lt. Larry Dietz of the Los Angeles County Coroner's office said Sunday evening. The victim's name was not immediately released.

Katherine Main, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Fire Department, said a total of eight people were hospitalized, one fewer than she had initially reported. Among those hospitalized at least one was in critical condition.

A 15-year-old was among those taken to a hospital, she said. Several other people were treated or examined at the scene but not hospitalized.

The injuries were believed to be from a single bolt accompanied by one loud boom of thunder as the storm cell passed over on what otherwise was a hot, sunny day at the popular beach area.

Pictures posted on Twitter showed rescuers trying to revive a man. KABC-TV reported that the victim who died was pulled from the surf well after the lightning strike.

At Redondo Beach, about a dozen miles down the coast from Venice, lightning left burn marks on the side of a home and set a car on fire.

Main said lifeguards were present and attempted to clear swimmers from the water. She said it was not known how many of the injured were in the water or on the sand at the time the lightning struck.

She said responders on the scene believe everyone has been accounted for, but an air and sea search was conducted for other possible victims, she said.

Venice is a residential and commercial neighborhood along the Pacific on the west side of the city of Los Angeles.

A short time earlier, a 57-year-old man playing golf on Santa Catalina Island was struck by lightning, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said. He was reported in stable condition, Associated Press reported.


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