California lightning strike leaves one dead and 13 injured

A 20-year-old man has died after lightning struck 14 people at Venice Beach in Los Angeles and Catalina Island.

One witness described seeing a "flash of light and a boom" as the lightning struck.

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Lightning strike 'felt like being punched in the head'

Witnesses have described the aftermath of a lightning strike in California that left 14 people injured, two critically.

Stuart Archer, who was struck while playing volleyball on the beach, said it felt as if someone punched him in the back of the head.

Lifeguards searched the waters for anyone hit by the strike on Venice Beach in Los Angeles. Credit: Reuters

"We went about our game and then all of a sudden, there was a big flash of light and a boom, and it felt like someone punched me in the back of my head," he told KABC-TV.

"It went down my whole side of my right body, and my calves sort of locked up, and I fell over. And I looked up and everybody else was, you know, falling over."

Jerome Williams said the lightning sounded like a "sonic boom", adding: "The majority of the folks that were on the (volleyball) court all felt a little tingly."

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