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1 dead, a dozen injured after lightning strike hits Venice Beach

A sunny day at California’s famed Venice Beach took a dark turn Sunday when one person died and a dozen others were injured after a rare lightning strike.

John Kades with the Los Angeles Coroner’s office told CNN a man in his mid-20’s died at Marina Del Rey Hospital after being transported from Venice Beach. It’s too early however to determine if he died as a result of “a lightning strike, drowning, or being trampled by the crowd,” according to Kades.

Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Katherine Main told CNN the lightning hit in the water and on the beach at 2:51 p.m. (5:51 p.m. ET). At least 13 patients — all of whom were either in or near the water, according to Main — were assessed on the scene, and of those, seven adults and one teenager were transported to local hospitals.

One patient had to be pulled from the water, but it was not immediately clear if it was the man who later died.

Another patient transported to the hospital was listed in serious condition Sunday afternoon, while the remaining six were listed as fair.

The National Weather Service in Los Angeles tweeted at around the time of the strike that “cloud to ground lightning” had been reported in nearby Marina Del Rey and at the Los Angeles International Airport. “Stay indoors if you hear thunder until it passes,” the Weather Service tweeted.

Witnesses tweeted they saw a huge bolt of lightning strike the area, with one Twitter user describing an explosion that blew off nearby roof tiles.

Venice Beach, located south of Santa Monica in Los Angeles, is world famous for the carnival-like atmosphere along its boardwalk.

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