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Freak lightning storm kills 1, injures 7 on California beach

- The Washington Times - Monday, July 28, 2014

A 20-year-old man was killed by a sudden and unusual lightning storm that hit at Venice Beach in California and lasted more than 15 minutes.

The man was pulled from the water and treated, but pronounced dead shortly after, the Los Angeles Times reported. At least seven more were critically injured, and a few others reported minor injuries.

Witnesses said the storm took them completely by surprise.

"It sounded like a sonic boom," one beach-goer said, Fox News reported.

More than 20,000 were on the beach when the lightning hit, Los Angeles Times reported.

"My hair was standing up," said Angelica Rogquemore, in the Los Angeles Times. "You could hear everybody screaming."

The West Coast has the lowest reported incidents of lightning strikes in the country, with odds at 1 in 7.5 million. That's compared to 1 in 600,000 in Florida, the Los Angeles Times said.

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