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Rare Lightning Strike on Southern California Beach Hits 14 People; Two in Critical Condition (UPDATE: One Man Is Dead)


There may be missing swimmers.

One reported scene on Venice Beach following a lightning strike. (Image source: Venice 311 YouTube channel)

UPDATE 12:58 a.m.: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A coroner's official said a 20-year-old man has died in the lightning strike on Venice Beach in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles County coroner's Lt. Larry Dietz said the man was taken from the beach and pronounced dead at a hospital Sunday afternoon.

Dietz says he can't confirm whether the man was a swimmer who was pulled from the water and given CPR.

Pedestrians and beachgoers stand on the shore near Venice Beach as lifeguards, right, bring in a swimmer rescued from the water after a lightning strike Sunday July 27, 2014 in Los Angeles. (Image source: AP/Steve Christianson)

UPDATE 8:o5 p.m.: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities now say 14 people — including a 15-year-old — have been struck by lightning during rare summer thunderstorms that have swept through Southern California, injuring two critically.

Los Angeles fire spokeswoman Katherine Main says 13 people, including the teen, were treated after they were struck Sunday afternoon at Venice Beach in Los Angeles. Four were treated at the scene and released, and the rest were taken to hospitals, where two are in critical condition.

Some appear to have been in the water and others on the beach's famed boardwalk.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says a 14th person was struck on a golf course on Southern California's Catalina Island. The 57-year-old man is reported in stable condition.

Lifeguard rescue boats patrol off the shore at Venice Beach, Sunday, July 27, 2014 in Los Angeles. (Image source: APo/Steve Christenesn)

UPDATE 7:15 p.m.: CNN reported that nine people were injured in the lightning strike and that they've all been taken to hospitals.

CNN added that witnesses tweeted seeing a huge bolt of lightning strike the area; one Twitter user described an explosion that blew off roof tiles.

Original story below

As many as seven people were injured Sunday afternoon by a rare lightning strike on Venice Beach in southern California, CNN reported.

The incident occurred at 2:51 p.m. Pacific time, CNN noted, citing Los Angeles Fire Department Katherine Main, who added there have been isolated showers in the area.

The nature of the injuries were not known, CNN reported.

KABC-TV reported that the strike happened in the 3500 block of Ocean Front Walk and that there may be missing swimmers, citing L.A. County Fire. At least one patient was taken to a hospital, KABC reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

This is breaking news; updates will be added.

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