One man was killed and at least eight others were hurt when lightning from a rare band of summer thunderstorms struck Venice Beach in Los Angeles Sunday afternoon.
The unidentified man in his 20s died after he was transported from Venice Beach to Marina Del Rey Hospital for treatment.
A second man struck by lightning was listed in critical condition. He and six others remain hospitalized, including a 15-year-old.
Witnesses said the lightning storm seemed to come out of nowhere.
Roger Davis was inside his home when he heard the explosions. "The whole place shook," he said. He ran outside. His neighbor, a doctor, was giving CPR to a victim, Davis said.
He said firefighters set up a triage area on the south end of the parking lot down from the Venice Pier. He said he saw them treat two victims then take them away in ambulances.
Angelica Roquemore said the entire storm lasted about 15 minutes. The sky over the pier turned dark and lightning crashed down a short time later, startling the crowd of fisherman and beach-goers on the pier.
"The minute it struck there are a few choice words," she said.
"My hair was standing up."
Roquemore said the thunderclap panicked a good number of people along the section of the pier she was standing on, and a brief rainfall sent some scrambling inside. "You could hear everybody screaming," she said.
Jesus Zamudio arrived at the beach just as rescue crews were clearing victims from the pier and saw a crowd of lifeguards surrounding one victim on the back of a truck.
They were giving the man CPR but he wasn't responding.
"The guy wasn't moving. He wasn't responding at all," Zamudio said. "It was sad to see, the guy looked young." Zamudio said he was planing to visit the pier about an earlier, but got stuck in a traffic jam he is now thankful for.
On Catalina Island, lightning struck a man and ignited several brush fires, authorities said.
The unidentified 57-year-old man did not suffer life-threatening injuries in the strike and was listed in stable condition, said Sgt. Robert Berardi of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
The unusual midday storm also knocked out electricity on the island, according to county officials.
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