Lightning, Plane Crash Kill Beachgoers In California And Florida

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  • Lightning
    A man is treated by paramedics while a woman is comforted after a lightning strike in Venice, California July 27, 2014
  • Plane
    First responders respond at the scene of a single engine Piper Cherokee plane crash in this photo provided by the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office in Caspersen Beach in Venice, Florida July 27, 2014.
  • Lifeguard
    Lifeguards search the waters for injured victims after a lightning strike injured people in the water in Venice, California July 27, 2014.
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One person was killed and another critically injured after lightning struck Venice Beach in Southern California on Sunday.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles coroner's office, John Kades, reportedly said that a man died at the Marina Del Rey Hospital after being transported from Venice Beach following the lightning strike. Kades added that it was too early to tell if the man had died as a result of “a lightning strike, drowning, or being trampled by the crowd," according to a CNN report.

Overall, 13 people were injured, and seven adults and one teenager were taken to local hospitals for treatment, and one of them is reportedly in serious condition. Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Katherine Main reportedly said that the lighting hit the water and the beach at 2:51 p.m. (5:51 p.m. EDT). 

The National Weather Service in Los Angeles tweeted that "cloud to ground lightning" had been reported in nearby Marina Del Rey and at the Los Angeles International Airport around the same time. The tweet also asked people to "Stay indoors if you hear thunder until it passes."

 

Residents of the area tweeted about witnessing huge bolts of lightning strike the area, with one user describing an explosion that blew off nearby roof tiles, the CNN report said.

Across the country, in Florida, a father was killed and his daughter seriously injured when a small plane crash-landed on Sunday while they were walking along a beach, a USA Today report said. Sarasota Country Sheriff’s spokeswoman Wendy Rose said that the pilot and his passenger weren’t injured.

Venice airport in Florida reportedly received a distress call at 2:45 p.m. Sunday from the pilot of the 1972 Piper Cherokee aircraft saying it could not reach the airport before it crash-landed on Caspersen Beach. 

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen reportedly told Associated Press in an email that FAA was investigating the incident, adding that the plane lost power before landing on the sand near the beach. National Transportation and Safety Board investigators are also reported to be inspecting the site.

The 9-year-old girl, identified as Oceana Irizarry, was reportedly airlifted to a children's hospital where her condition is said to be critical. Her father, who was killed by the plane crash, was identified as as Ommy Irizarry, 36, of Georgia. The aircraft was piloted by 57-year-old Karl Kokomoor of Englewood, Florida, with a passenger identified as David Theen, 60, also of Englewood, the NYDaily reported.

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