Lightning Strikes 14 People In Los Angeles, 1 Dead

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Lightning Strikes 14 People In Los Angeles, 1 Dead
by Michelle Broder Van Dyke

UPDATE July 27, 10:15 p.m. ET: A lightning storm occurred Sunday afternoon at Venice Beach, Calif., killing a 20-year-old man and injuring 12 others, including a 15-year-old, Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Katherine Main said.
Jonathan Alcorn / Reuters

One person died at the hospital and another person remains in critical condition.
Jonathan Alcorn / Reuters

Some of the people injured during the thunderstorm were on Venice's famous boardwalk, while others were in the ocean at the time.
Jonathan Alcorn / Reuters

Steve Christensen told the Associated Press that lifeguards and others went into the ocean to look for a missing swimmer.
Jonathan Alcorn / Reuters

"He (Christensens friend) went out to the water to find him and walked right into him, Christensen said. He was face down on the bottom."

Christensen said his friend pulled the body from the water, and lifeguards began performing CPR on him, before he was transported to the Marina Del Rey Hospital.
Jonathan Alcorn / Reuters

Eight other people were taken to the same hospital to be treated.

Four people were treated at the scene and released.
Jonathan Alcorn / Reuters

Stuart Acher, who had been at the beach at the time of the storm, said he was struck by lightning while playing volleyball.
Jonathan Alcorn / Reuters

"We went about our game and then all of a sudden, there was a big flash of light and a boom, and it felt like someone punched me in the back of my head, he told KABC-TV. It went down my whole side of my right body, and my calves sort of locked up, and I fell over. And I looked up and everybody else was, you know, falling over."

The caption for this Instagram photo reads:

"Today was one of those days the universe stepped in. It was raining for the first time in months in Southern California and we wanted to go swim in the ocean. We got tripped up a little on the way but were still jazzed to go swim. As soon as we got to the ocean we were alerted that lightning came outta nowhere and hit several people in the water and some died. Lifeguard boats are out now looking for more bodies. One of those things where you dodged a bullet just a second ahead of time. Thoughts going out to those who weren't so lucky."

Authorities said one person, a 57-year-old male, was struck by lightning on a golf course Catalina Island. He is reportedly in stable condition.

The lightning strikes on the Island also caused minor flooding and two small fires that were extinguished, said Steve Denning, who works for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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