Rare Lightning Storm Kills One, Injures 13 in Los Angeles

A lightning strike in Venice Beach, Los Angeles yesterday killed a 20-year-old man and injured 13 others, one critically. Firefighters believe lightning struck the ocean and spread through the water, ABC reports.

The strike hit L.A., where lightning is relatively rare, at around 2:30 p.m., and was unannounced by typical signs of a coming storm, according to witnesses. Stuart Archer, who was playing volleyball on the beach, told ABC:

"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. 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 man who died was found in the water 90 minutes after the strike and taken to the hospital, where he later passed away. Among the injured was a 15-year-old boy.

Several other lightning strikes were reported in Southern California yesterday. A man playing golf on Santa Catalina Island was hit by lightning around 12:30 p.m. and is now in stable condition, and lightning damaged three to four homes in Redondo Beach.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti offered his condolences last night:

Amy's and my prayers are with the victims of the lightning strike today at Venice Beach. This tragedy reminds us that we can take nothing for granted or underestimate the power of nature.

[Image via AP]