One dead, several injured after massive lightning strike in Venice Beach


One dead, several injured after massive lightning strike in Venice Beach

By Joyce Lupiani. CREATED Jul 28, 2014

A young man is dead and 12 other people are recovering from injuries after a massive lightning bolt hit California's Venice Beach on Sunday afternoon.

According to the Washington Post, people who were on the beach heard a loud thunder clap before the lightning strike. Witness say It sounded like a sonic boom.

The lightning struck the water off of Venice Beach at about 2:30 p.m. during a rare and fast-moving summer storm.

The deceased man, who is believed to be in his 20s, was swimming at the time the lightning hit. He was taken to the hospital where he died. His identity has not been made public. Twelve other people were also injured and several, including a 15-year-old boy, were transported to local hospitals. One of the injured is in critical condition, one is in grave condition and six others are in fair condition. The person who is in critical condition was surfing at the time of the lightning strike.

The other injured people were treated at the scene and did not require hospitalization.

The beach was busy at the time with people swimming, surfing or paddle boarding, lying on the beach and playing volleyball or other games. The lightning storm seemed to come out of nowhere, according to people on the beach. The entire storm only lasted about 15 minutes.

A man who was playing volleyball on the beach at the time told KABC-TV that it "felt like someone punched me in the back of the head." Luckily, he was not injured and went back to playing volleyball.

A golfer was also hit by lightning on California's Santa Catalina Island at about 12:30 p.m. Sunday. He is in stable condition at the Catalina Island Medical Center, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Hundreds of lightning strikes were reported throughout the state on Sunday. Downtown Los Angeles received record rainfall for the day and hail and rain were also reported in San Diego.

Joyce Lupiani

Joyce Lupiani

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Joyce Lupiani, who is based in Las Vegas at KTNV-TV Channel 13, is a contributor to