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Eight hurt by lightning at beach

Eight people were hurt, two severely, when lightning struck Venice Beach in Los Angeles on Sunday, emergency officials said.

All eight patients were hospitalized after the lightning hit near Ocean Front Walk, which faces the Pacific Ocean, around 2:15 p.m., according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Katherine Main.

One victim was in grave condition and another was critical, she said. The other victims, including a 15-year-old, were in fair condition.

Emergency officials said earlier that as many as nine people might have been hurt.

The National Weather Service had predicted a chance of thunderstorms in the area on Sunday.

Lightning injuries or fatalities can occur during a direct strike or after a current is passed through the ground or jumps from a taller object, like a tree, according to the National Weather Service.

Symptoms can range from cardiac arrest and injury to the nervous system to muscle soreness, headache and confusion.