A freakish wave of thunder and lightning storms struck the Southern California area on Sunday, striking 14 people, killing one, and sending nine to the hospital, the Los Angeles Times reports. One victim remains in critical condition, said a spokesman from the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The conditions of the other victims are unknown, but the LAFD said that they transported nine people to local hospitals, one of which was a 15-year-old boy. “The whole place shook,” Los Angeles resident Roger Davis said. He recounted that he ran outside and he saw his neighbor, a doctor, giving CPR to a victim.
Davis explained that a triage was set up to treat injured people in the parking lot just south of the Venice Beach Pier. Davis saw paramedics treat two victims, then take them away in ambulances.
“I’ve seen lightning,” said Giovanni Alonzo of Los Angeles. “But never that loud.”
Vern L. Williams said he’s been fishing on the pier for decades and seen plenty of storms roll in, but never one like this. He told the Times a lightning bolt hit the a post on the pier within five feet from where he was fishing.
“I dove to the floor to the concrete,” he said. “That ain’t nothing to play with… I’m out here 24 hours a day. I ain’t never seen it hit right next to a light pole — that was crazy.”
There were reports of lightning in Marina Del Rey, Los Angeles International Airport and the Palos Verdes Peninsula at about 1 p.m. One 57-year-old man was zapped on Catalina Island, but is listed in stable condition.