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Lightning strike injures at least 13 in Venice Beach

(CNN) — A sunny day at California’s famed Venice Beach took a dark turn Sunday when 13 people were injured after a rare lightning strike.

Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Katherine Main told CNN the lightning hit in the water and on the beach. Those that were injured were either in or near the water, she said.

At least 13 patients were assessed on the scene, and of those, seven adults and one teenager were transported to local hospitals — including one who had to be pulled from the water. That patient “is in grave condition,” according to Main, and another one was listed in serious condition. The remaining six that had to be taken to the hospital were listed in fair condition Sunday afternoon.

The National Weather Service in Los Angeles tweeted at around the time of the strike — 2:51 p.m. (5:51 p.m. ET) according to Main — 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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