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Man dies after lightning strike affects 14

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A 20-year-old man died after lightning from a rare summer thunderstorm jolted a Southern California beach, injuring or rattling more than a dozen people, authorities said.

Witnesses said they saw a glare of light and heard a tremendous boom as lightning struck the water off of Venice Beach around 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Swimmers cooling off on a muggy day, volleyball players on the sand and people strolling the famous boardwalk were jolted.

A 20-year-old man was taken from the beach to a hospital where he died, Los Angeles County coroner's Lt. Larry Dietz said. His identity was not immediately released.

Confirmation of the cause of death was pending an autopsy. Dietz said he also can't confirm whether the man was a swimmer who was pulled from the water and given CPR.

Twelve other people, including a 15-year-old boy, were examined after they felt the effects of the lightning, ranging from anxiety to a man who needed cardiopulmonary resuscitation. However, not all were necessarily actually struck by lightning, said Katherine Main, a city fire spokeswoman.

Nine were taken to hospitals, where one was listed in critical condition.

Most of the others were mainly shaken up and expected to recover, fire officials said.

Lightning also struck a 57-year-old man on a golf course on Santa Catalina Island. He's in stable condition

Stuart Acher said he was shocked while playing volleyball on the beach.

"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."

Paramedics examined Acher but he felt all right and went back to playing volleyball.

Steve Christensen said his friend had been body-surfing and was sitting on the beach when lifeguards began searching for a missing swimmer.

"He (Christensen's 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 man, who appeared to be in his 20s, from the water, and lifeguards began CPR before taking him away.

"The guy wasn't moving. He wasn't responding at all," Jesus Zamudio of Riverside told the Los Angeles Times.

Los Angeles Lightning Strike Kills 1, Injures Several

"This tragedy reminds us that we can take nothing for granted or underestimate the power of nature," Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement.

Earlier, off the coast, lightning struck a 57-year-old man on a golf course on Santa Catalina Island but he was taken to a hospital in stable condition, said Steve Denning, a law enforcement technician with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. He did not have other details.

The lightning strikes occurred as a fierce but brief thunderstorm hit the island, dumping more than three-quarters of an inch of rain in about two hours, causing minor flooding and setting two small fires in the brushy backcountry that were quickly doused.

Hundreds of lightning strikes were reported all around Southern California as a moisture-laden monsoonal flow spread up from the south and swept the region all the way out to the ocean.

"This is pretty rare" because usually the flow affects just the deserts and sometimes the mountains, said Stuart Seto, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

The storms began to dissipate as they moved northwest, leaving just a chance of storms through Monday, mainly in the deserts and mountains, Seto said.

The video below, provided by YouTube user venice311, shows the LAFD searching for victims in Venice Beach:

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Hello Beautiful July 27 2014 at 10:11 PM

If you can hear the crackle of thunder, then it's close enough to strike you.

Flag Reply +16 rate up
4 replies
petpetdon July 27 2014 at 10:06 PM

As I figured, people in California don't have the sense to get in out of a rain storm.

Flag Reply +13 rate up
17 replies
bambi0022 July 27 2014 at 10:58 PM

I have lived here a long time and have never seen anything like this. I was sitting on the beach during a nice day, then all of a sudden the skies turned dark and dumped an inch of rain in a few minuets, then left as fast as it came. I'm sure that the man on the golf course was caught off guard as well.

Flag Reply +10 rate up
3 replies
aljoramaggio July 27 2014 at 10:01 PM

So very sad for the people and their families.
My deepest condolences.
Please, look to the clouds and the sky. If it is beginning to look as if a storm might hit, please get to safety. Certainly if you hear thunder, it means that lightning has already occurred!
Nature is not to be toyed with!

Flag Reply +10 rate up
2 replies
nxston08 aljoramaggio July 28 2014 at 2:18 PM

So you're the smartest guy in the room right/? As if people don't know that already.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
mymajor1 nxston08 July 28 2014 at 2:51 PM

Well...we are talking California (LOL)

Flag +1 rate up
surghucjls aljoramaggio July 28 2014 at 4:00 PM

nxston08, apparently these people didn't know that.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
John Roberson July 27 2014 at 10:17 PM

The reporters at Huffingtopost are so bad, that they can not get their story straight; title says 14 struck by lightning, first sentence say 13. Must be a reporter who graduated from a correspondence school.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
3 replies
bobo July 27 2014 at 11:27 PM

the global warming pundits are licking thier lips over this..."See?..I told you..now renew my grant money"

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
baldbiker2 bobo July 28 2014 at 12:39 AM

The grant money was renewed as pork in a bill that had nothing to do with grants.....

Flag Reply 0 rate up
hokanut July 27 2014 at 10:08 PM

"It sounded like a sonic boom"...because that's what thunder is. Super heated air expands rapidly causing the shock wave.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
stubster50 July 28 2014 at 3:13 AM

California Retards. Even my five year old knows ," when thunder roars go indoors." Lol

Flag Reply +4 rate up
4 replies
JOHN COLE July 28 2014 at 1:32 AM

Well let me think about this! Well you should get of the Fu**en BEACH during a lightning Storm... Stupid Demo crates

Flag Reply +4 rate up
4 replies
diobuca July 28 2014 at 1:36 PM

Israel killed 9 children yesterday. They are more dangerous than lightening.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
hattie54 diobuca July 28 2014 at 3:08 PM

Hamas kills more people.Duh.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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