Freak lightning bolt hurts eight on US beach

Eight taken to hospital, where officials say two are in a serious condition, after strike hits busy Los Angeles beach.

Last updated: 28 Jul 2014 02:42
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The rare incident happened while there were isolated thunderstorms in the area [Reuters]

Eight people, including a teenager, have been taken to hospital after a freak lightning strike at the bustling Venice Beach in the United States, the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) said.

LAFD spokeswoman, Katherine Main, told the AFP news agency that one of the individuals was in a grave condition following the afternoon incident, while another was considered critical. The status of the remaining six was listed as fair.

Seven of those taken to hospital were adults while the eighth was a 15-year-old, Main said. She did not comment on their current conditions. 

The LAFD assessed an additional five people at the beach who did not need hospital care, she said.

The rare incident happened while there were isolated thunderstorms in the area. Witnesses speaking to the Los Angeles Times newspaper described scenes of panic as the sky darkened and lightning erupted shortly thereafter, accompanied by thunder and rain.

"You could hear everybody screaming," Angelica Roquemore told the newspaper.

Roger Davis was quoted by the publication as saying that his house shook and that he heard explosions. When he ran outside, his neighbour - a doctor - was trying to revive a victim, he told the paper.


Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.