McPherson family witnesses deadly California 'fireball'

Published On: Jul 27 2014 09:38:50 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 27 2014 09:54:43 PM CDT
Venice Beach lightning strike
VENICE, Calif. -

One man has died, and several others were hurt after lightning struck a popular beach in Los Angeles.

It happened at Venice Beach Sunday afternoon. The lightning strike also caused a power outage in the area. Officials tell CBS LA eight of the 13 were transported to the hospital, at least two of those people were in critical condition.

A McPherson family was actually near the beach when it happened, and saw the flash come out of no where.

"It was like a bright, bright flash," Julie Edgar said. "It wasn't like we're used to, where you get thunder in the distance, and you get lightning. It was just all the sudden, one big fireball."

Earlier in the afternoon, a 57-year-old man was struck by lightning on Catalina Island after a mid-day thunderstorm touched off at least two brush fires.

Thunderstorms in Southern California are quite rare. The unusual weather came from monsoon moisture that brought a line of brief, but strong, afternoon thunderstorms to the region.

This is the latest incident in which multiple people were hurt after being struck by lightning this summer. Two people were killed within two days in separate strikes in Colorado earlier this month.