Rare lightning storm in California kills young man

By Elizabeth Sudlow,

A young man died yesterday after lightning struck in Venice Beach, California. The likelihood of being struck by lightning in the state is 1 in 7.5 million, as compared to 1 in 600,000 in Florida.

It was mid-afternoon Sunday when a 15-minute storm attacked the beach and sent 20,000 people running. Besides the one fatality, 13 more were injured with most being sent to the hospital, reports the Los Angeles Times.

“This was a sneak attack that took everybody by surprise,” stated Bill Patzert, a climatologist with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Patzert also informed civilians that these conditions could continue through Wednesday and reminded everyone to follow the phrase, “When thunder roars, go indoors.”

In the case of the deceased, John Kades of the Los Angeles Coroner's office told CNN and reporters that the cause of death is currently unknown as it could have been the result of “a lightning strike, drowning, or being trampled by the crowd.”

The name of the deceased has not yet been announced at the request of family.



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